Run and Be Free, My Children!

Planetary Lizz 2

My littlest dude had this conversation with my next to littlest dudette yesterday:

"I just decided to see what an onion smelled like on my hands, so I cut one in half and rubbed it all over them. Then I nonchalantly smelled them. And it was terrible!"


"Yeah. What does nonchalantly mean?"


My oldest chicklette used to do that too. Use words that sounded loverly to her little ears but with no knowledge of what they meant. My favorite? It's a tie:

"I love horses. They're so expensive."

"I love this necklace! It's so punctual."

She was three.

And then there was my kidlet who really did know how to use the words and what they meant. So when you asked her at age two what her favorite dinosaur was, her answer was clear as a bell, "I love pachycephalosauruses. Do you want to know what they eat? And where they live?"

The only one who never threw words out there that he didn't know the meaning of was Number Two Son. Most of the time he just sat back and waited for other people to make idiots out of themselves so he could learn quietly. Smart kid.

I love how children experiment. How they go all caution-to-the-wind and see what happens. Do you remember being that way? I do. I remember folding towels lengthwise, laying them across my shoulders and jumping off couches while flapping my toweled arms wildly, thinking I might fly around the house. I even jumped off the shed with an umbrella a few times, hoping to float gently to the ground. I did manage to float gently to a twisted ankle. But I never gave up. Slow learner I guess.

Why do we lose that? The willingness to try anything without even thinking about how embarrassing it might be. I guess we don't all lose it. If we did there wouldn't be any new discoveries or creative endeavors to look forward to. But generally, don't we all worry just a bit too much about what others might think? I mean, why shouldn't we fill up the bathtub and attempt to walk on water after hearing that one story about it in Sunday School? (Not saying I did this. Except I did. A lot. And had the soggy shoes to prove it.) Why shouldn't we sing along with our playlist while we're out jogging? Chances are we're not going to see any of those people staring suspiciously at us ever again. And if we do, we now have an instant bond born of common experience. The exposure to our weirdness.

I say its time we all chilled out about what other people think and took a leaf out of our kids' books. Even my Number Two Son is starting to loosen his grip on caution. He's been known to play his own music and sing in public. He's also discovered the benefits of reaching out to the opposite sex with cookies made by his own male hands, (oh, this is a brilliant technique, Men, let me tell you), and of starting spontaneous futsol games. It's fun. It rallies friends around you by tapping into your common ground: generalized human funkyness.

So I have an idea. Something that might head us down the road to free thinking and relaxed living. How 'bout all of you meet here tomorrow night at around 8:00. Bring music and choreography, and make sure you involve squirt guns and vanilla ice cream. Then go flashmob the chief of police. It'll be awesome! And you can come back afterward and tell me about it. I'll be waiting. Right here → •

About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.

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