“I reached into the sky and pulled the sun down and played with it like a bright ball and then I put it back and it followed me.”
This was my six-year old niece lying her cute face off during our holiday hang out.
Never mind that it was raining, that she is barely three feet tall, non-flying, and doesn’t have sun-heat resistant gloves.
Yet, something about her dancing chocolate eyes, speedy squeals and pure silliness quickly dismantled any need to logically poke holes in her fantastical commentary. Beyond that, it had me laughing a runny laugh that seemed new.
Even in her imagination she is playing wildly. Not far from delusion. And it is this ridiculous airy essence I want to bottle to spritz around on cold, dark, rainy days.
Largely, she’s all pink-and-purple outfits and stardust, and is the only one in my circle who insists on wearing a glittery tutu over leggings with Uggs to lunch. Not a fashion statement, just who she is.
Under her alchemist hands, magical things transpire in my home. Out of my rock collection, she creates a rock-people village. With old newspaper or magazines and a pair of scissors, dolls appear. Straws are walrus tusks or antennas when taped to a headband. My stuffed animals and hand-puppets are gathered for field trips or tea parties, and of course, she makes up all-over-the-place stories for them too plump with nursery rhymes.
A lot of time, she is happily on a long road to nowhere, and I covet the windows of fancy she opens—the spontaneous nonsense wrapped in joy.
Like a drink of wonder with a hint of spring, she has an indelible and radical willingness to float in harmless foolishness that fascinates me and then I am diving onto a bed with a giant teddy bear remembering mine.
Most of 2016 I was too grown for my own good, although still able to conjure up a few of my own unrehearsed silly moments, but whenever I was with her, she effortlessly found child-me.
So, if I am making a resolution for 2017, it is to unknow some adult things to make room to reknow some child things –like making up words—and playing more.
Yes, the year ahead is primed for seriousness and big-girl panties, and still I want to rebel a bit and find a path to a magical adulthood.
I want more twirling around weeeeeing until I’m dizzy.
More ooooohing when I see something cool.
More bubbles and Disney movie binges.
More scribbling random stories or doodling, just to see where my mind goes.
More snow angels when it snows and grass angels when it doesn’t.
More chasing butterflies.
More play. Period.
And that is my wish for you too. Find your inner child and don’t let go.