Friday, May 15, 2015

It Is So Thrilling

Being a child is a thrilling experience. Children automatically know how to fully enjoy the moment. You can see joy, puzzlement, curiosity, fright, sadness, and glee on their faces because they have not yet learned to keep their emotions to themselves.

Of course a trip to the amusement park or a memorable vacation are thrilling to all of us. But children do not need extreme stimulation. I remember some of the things I liked as a child and they are the simplest things. As adults we might not give them another thought.

I love the rain. My parents let us play in the rain unless conditions such as lightning made it dangerous. I still go out and dance in the rain. For some reason it seems to be a basic and freeing thing to do.

One time we had a huge downpour of rain. Of course we had to stay inside because we could not even see the street from the window.

When it became safe to go outside we had a swimming pool! The very shallow ditch which was not more than a slightly lower section between the road and the yard held water. The reason it was so deep was that the water ran halfway up into the yard and halfway out into the road. We had a great time splashing around as the water slowly receded.

Bugs and spiders hold a special fascination for children. I think it may be because they move. Some have good colors.

We collected them. Our way of collecting little critters was to catch them in a mason jar and close the lid.After we began to tire of them (usually a matter of minutes) we set them free and went on to capture another critter.

My best friend had gooseberry bushes at her house. My parents always had strawberries. As a family we went into the country to pick chokecherries for jelly. And there were wild berries to be found all over the place. And I will not even count my very absolute favorite mulberries.

It was always thrilling to pick berries. If they were something we could eat right on the spot so much the better.

Just running and playing are joys for children. One Easter we gathered at my son's house. We all took the eggs we had colored. I filled plastic eggs with goodies. My son had already hidden the ones he filled. When he finished hiding the ones I took there were hundreds of plastic eggs and dozens of colored eggs hidden in his yard.

We released the kids. They had so much fun running around filling their baskets with the treats. Then we went inside and had a scrumptious meal.

After the meal another son tossed a real egg at my grandson. My grandson tossed another back. The Easter egg fight was on! They were all splatting each other with eggs. The yard was covered with colorful bits of eggshell. And a tradition was launched.

But to watch a game of tag when the children do not realize you are watching makes you smile. They are so carefree.

Do you know what a thrill it is for a child to get a hug from a parent? For no reason other than the child just happened to be close? I remember those hugs. I hope my children remember the ones I gave them because I would notice how cute they were.

I constantly mention our family rides in the country. That is because they are some of my favorite times. A simple drive with no time constraints and people pointing out interesting things. For instance a squirrel running up a tree is interesting. A tree with an interesting shape is good. It is interesting to spot a scarecrow, an different kind of flower, chickens scratching around, a road sign that makes you laugh... you get the idea.

We usually lived near a creek. Wading in the creek is great fun. All that splashing and getting wet has other benefits. On a hot summer day it is the best way to cool off. Plus children who have been playing in cool water dry off and warm up a little. When that happens they feel cozy and will take a nice nap.

We also seemed to live near train tracks. Waving at the engineer and getting him to wave back was exhilarating. If he blew the horn... jackpot!

It takes so little to delight a child. I want to always be able to see the joy and wonder in my world too. I wish the same for you.


  1. I wonder what it takes to engage teenagers?

  2. I remember some of these same fun childhood activities, Emma. Sadly our two grandchildren seem more absorbed in electronic diversions as do so many other youngsters today. It is upsetting to see young children, even toddlers, out and about and staring down at display screens. Children and their parents have lost sight, it seems, of what fun simple pleasures can bring and best of all, most are free!

    1. I am an advocate of limiting electronic time. I also believe that if parents are taking the children to do non-electronic things the children will find those things to be more fun.

  3. Your childhood was absolutely amazing. I'm recalling mine now and it made me smile knowing that I actually had lots of "mischievous fun" like "stealing guavas" from another yard and enjoying the fun of running away from the caretaker of the land. He'd shout at us "Hey" and that the go signal for us to run away. Later I understood that he won't really do anything to us, he just had to keep us away from the private property.
    We'd also run on the seawalls and sometimes push each other when were below the wall close to the water which ended up dragging each other to get everyone wet. My school was close to the ocean and once during break we decided to push each other and we came back yo the classroom soaking wet in our uniforms. We received a slap on the butt from the teacher but it was fun. Thst time corporal punishment was still allowed in schools.

    I share the same experience with you dancing in the rain. I love it soooo much! When I go for a homevisit, I still catch the rain but this time I'm limited to stay inside our yard. It'd be awkward for me to run around the streets with kids. But I still love it.

    Waving at the engineer and hoping for him to blow the horn is something I didn't experience but I can imagine how you felt.

    1. My childhood was amazing. I was fortunate enough to have loving, encouraging parents who worked hard to give us the best life they could. I would have liked to play with you and your friends in the ocean. What fun.