Within my chest beats the heart of a child. Stuffed animals, animated movies, and children’s books light up my world. I am not so wrapped up in a child’s paradise that I play all day or refuse to complete chores, but I am happy that a part of my carefree self never quite left me.
When I was little, I thought adults had it all together. As if there was a magical threshold we all crossed that severed us from our childhoods.
My theory is that there is still a bit of our younger selves alive in all of us.
Sometimes our childhood counterpart shows up in tantrums, which is not ideal. Occasionally, we struggle to deny ourselves instant gratification – just like the three-year-old inside of us at a candy shop. We have to learn to control that part of our inner-kid; but, what about the creative, excitable, joyful child inside of us? You know, the one who could not wait for Christmas morning… the one who lived for sleepovers and birthday parties… the one who would have completed almost any household chore for a bag of Skittles. Can they come out to play once in a while?
We are Maturity Personified!
Eric and I are not always the mature human beings we demonstrate in public. We have been known to engage in the annoying (but super fun!) baby talk. When I am feeling slightly aggravated, sometimes I let four-year-old Heather come out. I may even stomp my feet and “demand” my way. It is all in good fun, but weirdly satisfying. ~smile~
We are also not opposed to the occasional tickle fight, but it is hard to appear dignified in those moments. Tickle fights are not a staple around here, however, because Eric always wins.
Eric has not fully embraced my personification of inanimate objects, but I find joy in giving personalities to stuffed animals and sometimes even random household items and I have my mom to thank for this. She was an elementary school teacher and had a gift for puppeteering. She could turn anything – anything – into a puppet. The hair dryer, for example, was hilarious. What little girl enjoys sitting still while having her hair dried? (This girl surely did not.) That is until the hair dryer started talking to me. I giggled. We had a great time. Thus, a love for bringing life to the inanimate was born. And, if I am crazy, the writers of Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, and my college roommate (who had a stuffed dog named Cake we all knew and loved) are also crazy. ~smile~
Childlike or Childish?
Life gets so hectic and the cares of the world fall upon all of us. If we do not let our inner-child come out to play once in a while, we become tense and irritable. Maybe you have no interest in Candy Land or Hide-n-Seek, but surely there is something you enjoy which frees your heart a bit and clears your mind. Do not neglect those interests. And, if you find you are feeling cranky and old before your time, do something completely silly.
- Dance in the rain.
- Go out and play with some friends’ kids.
- Go watch a children’s movie with your sweetie. (And if you feel too silly, bring a child along. ~smile~)
I Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
Marriage is not a place for children; it is an institution for adults. Many go into the marriage relationship with adult bodies, but childish maturity. Flourishing marriages consist of adults who think and act like adults, speak like adults, and reason like adults. They give up their childish ways.
However, I do not take this verse to mean we can never be a little silly, never be a little childlike, or never recreate fun moments from our childhoods. We have to keep life in perspective and know when to work and when to play.
Do not neglect to be a little childlike with your sweetheart – now and when you are seventy. Keep the laughter coming. Remember who you were before life poured so much responsibility on your shoulders. Never lose that little boy or little girl completely. He or she is still very much a part of who you are today.
How do you and your sweetheart embrace your inner-children?