It feels as if I have been strapped down inside a time bending time machine when I think back on my years as a child. Sad, but true.
Whenever I am around the hearts of children, I can’t help but fall in love with the wonders of childhood all over again. The days when an entire day could pass, and I wouldn’t even notice. I wouldn’t take the time to pause, be still, or step away from my imaginary world–from the stews that I so expertly made out of grass and mud, from the small towns which were brought to life through chalk, from the sun bleached skin, the bruised knees, the constant scrapes and “ouchies”. In a heart beat, I would transport back to those days if I had the chance. I would rewind the giant, ever-ticking clock of time and shrink back into my little girl self, except I would bring with me the knowledge that life goes much faster than we anticipate, and I would whisper in the ear of my childhood life, “slow down, slow down”.
Every Thursday I am given again the sweet taste of childhood as I play with the children at the Women and Children’s Crisis Shelter. I watch as they scribble pictures of lines and circles, then turn to me with wide eyes and exclaim, “its a dinosaur!”. I play along as they write a story about Larry The Red Haired Leprechaun who dedicated his life to saving the world. I run in playful fear when we play “zombies” and they come after me with a wooden stick, proclaiming that they will defeat me! I then watch their eyes glitter with surprise when I lay on the ground after they have “defeated me” and tell them that I cannot be defeated, for I am a cat zombie and I have 9 lives. And of course, they play right along with my spiel, because anything and everything is possible in the heart of a child. Thats what I miss the most I think–the endless possibilities. The constant belief that tomorrow would come, and with it, something magical.
In this picture, I asked one of the little girls to make me a pizza out of Play Doh for dinner cause I was starving, and this was the end result. The smile on her face when she presented it to me was too sweet to not document the beautiful dish she had just prepared for me.
I miss being a kid. But alas, one cannot simply go back in time to the simpler days. We must move forward and find something simple in each day that we are given. And every Thursday, these precious little kids are my simplicity. They take me back to the days where spaceships could be made out of cardboard boxes and swords could be concocted from wrapping paper.
There is nothing more beautiful to me than the heart of the child, and the beautiful simplicities they create.
Lets be more like them.