Saturday, 29 April 2017

Your Inner Child

Emily squeezing jelly through her fingers for the first time was one of those moments I'll savor forever.  The laughter, the excitement and all her curiosity.  Her innocence and her spirit not yet tainted by the adult world.  She didn't give one f*ck about the mess on the floor or the stains on her clothes and neither did I.  That's the sheer beauty of raising a child - they find the child in you.  The one deep inside that was denied to dance in the park anymore or to scream and cry loudly when things got hard in fear of looking stupid, immature or dare say it, crazy.  The child we all deserve to be and to feel but we've been told to deny them, to deny that care free feeling of aliveness.

No one shouted at her to stop exploring how the jelly wiggled between her fingers, nobody handed her a spoon and said don't make a mess.   She flipped it, she flung it and her sister roared with laughter.  At first Molly just laughed uncontrollably at her baby sister but then she was looking at me, she wanted to join in but she knew that flinging her food on the floor was wrong - but this moment wasn't about that and her baby sister was exploring.  I gave Molly the nod and she too joined in.   It was everything a childhood should be.  Expressing joy, wonder and curiosity without restraints in their safe place, their home.  Where they could be who they wanted to be and express their emotions fully.  I didn't tell Emily's big sister to say it was wrong or to snigger AT her, I told her to enjoy her baby sisters excitement, I told her to have fun, I told her to encourage it and be in the moment.  

More and more I see a pattern emerging with my "F*ck it" theory and it's growing rapidly.  It's changing my life and it's growing my girls into wonderfully crazy human beings.  There are things they do now that won't effect their grades or their future and things like that today was one of them.  Stop fighting it.  F*ck it, I am not denying them their fun, their freedom to express, their right to explore for themselves - I'm bloody well joining in!

It hit me - what I am fighting to heal in myself at this very moment with my councilor was what I was watching right in front of me.  Every moment for them is new and full of wonder and when I am with them, my inner child is right there bursting to get out.  That's where I repeat f*ck it, and I let her come out.  I let my inner child dance, I let her sing (terribly) and let her know it's ok to play and be silly.   I will not be that person to drown out my daughters inner voice.  I will not be that person who teaches them not to trust themselves or their feelings because "I know best..."  I know how much of my inner child missed out and I know how precious that time is for my girls,  how important it is to let them be that child for as long as they were intended to be.

I will protect them, I will guide them and I will always be there for them.  I will teach them how to respect others, how to love themselves, how to show compassion and most importantly how to BE themselves.  I will teach them right and wrong, for their age.  I will not ask them to be an adult, when they are not.  I will teach them of dangers and how they must act in order to keep themselves safe and others safe but I will not sweat the small stuff.  I will not let the small stuff stop me from enjoying these moments.  I will let my 2 year old be just that and I will not take that spirit away.   That I promise with all my heart.

Those qualities that our children possess are the ones we all seek to find as we get older.  We all want to feel alive, we all want to release our inhibitions and believe that we can achieve great things but how can we when so many of us are unknowingly blocking out our inner child.   The inner child that is full of spontaneity, trust and belief.  You know - the real beauty of all of this is sometimes it's our children who know best.  Sometimes, it's our children who can teach us how to not give one f*ck - on those occasions, that's our job to take those lessons in and teach our children how to do this without becoming assh*les in the process.

When I was at soft play a few days ago with the kids, I went to grab a cup of tea after countless trips down the death slide on my own - my toddler was too scared but only too happy to watch me do it and conveniently I was only too happy to oblige.  The man who served me told me that he was surprised to see me do this - I asked why and he said "It's usually the dads".   

Why do we deny ourselves the chance to have fun?  Why do we think we will look silly crawling through a tunnel and battling through a ball pit? I'm not saying we all want to be rolling around in a bacteria pool of bogies and snot or on all fours cleaning up twatting jelly but what I'm saying is - we have to listen to our inner child sometimes, we have to let them out.  Because our inner child never leaves us.

Really, what I am saying is simple.  If you want that "Zest for life" that feels
so damn good - find that child in you, embrace them fully. We need to give ourselves a break from the harsh realities of the adult world at times and remember there is a beautiful child in there that is still capable of feeling that pure simplistic joy.   We watched movies, we played, we sang and we spent all day in our pants.  How grateful I am to have that opportunity.  It was f*cking  glorious!