Safety, Support & Living in the Moment
When my nephew turned 2, my brother and sister-in-law held his birthday party at a local gym for kids, full of apparatuses to climb over, jump on, and crawl through. As someone who doesn’t have children of my own, it was such a fun experience to see all these tiny people explore and release their energy. Wanting to soak in all that joy myself, I took away a few lessons from the little ones that day.
- We could all use a little foam in our lives. This gym was covered in foam, mats and other soft cushions so the kids could explore the entire place. It reminded me that we all have a natural need for safety. Taken too far, though, that need can keep us from exploring and living life to the fullest like these toddlers were. Instead of saying no to opportunities to explore in the future, I’ll figure out what I really need to feel safe then surround myself with all the metaphorical foam I need to fall down and get back up.
- Helping hands are everywhere. My nephew’s legs and feet move fast despite not always moving in coordination with each other. It’s kind of like a drunk person running…while avoiding mouse traps…on a boat…caught in a hurricane. There was quite a bit of treacherous terrain for an unsteady toddler, like steps coming down from a trampoline or the inflatable ramp of the bounce house. Instead of slowing down or turning away though, he always knew there was an adult nearby that he could grab hold of if needed. Like all of the adults at this birthday party with hands outstretched to support any little one running by, I will strive to do the same for the people around me (little and big) and have faith that others will do the same when I’m in need.
- Together or alone, we can still have fun. One minute kids were playing alone and the next they were on top of each other. It made no difference in how much fun they were having. When we become adults we often have to carve out time for fun, as if a feeling can be scheduled. I’ve resolved to look for the fun in moments alone, with others, while resting and while working. I have a suspicion that I’m missing opportunities to laugh and play right in front of my eyes every day.
There’s so much joy to be found around us if we can step away from the hustle and grind of life. And, if we all took time to appreciate those moments and reflect on the lessons there are to learn, I imagine more joy will come. Here’s to enjoying life like a two-year old!