Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Stuff that Kids Do

Tonight we were having our weekly Bible Study small group, and while the adults were singing and having a serious time of learning about God, our kids were having an adventure of their own.  The sky broke loose and it proceeded to downpour.  After the rain let up a little bit, the kids ran out to discover an infestation of little was like a plague of Biblical proportions.  The adults had their noses in their Bibles, and looked up to see a bunch of little guys with giant grins on their faces. Each of the 10 kids came into the house, soaking wet, and holding cups of about 50 little dime sized frogs.  They were so cute!  We let our kids keep a handful and put them in their aquarium, and then made them let the rest go free.  They also caught a horned toad, and a snake too!  Who needs the Wii and TV when there's cool stuff to learn about outside.  Our mountain kids make their own fun!

That's what I love about our kids.  They live in the moment.  They live every day as if they had some concept that time was precious and must be thoroughly packed with great discoveries.  If they are left to their own devices for any period of time, they create an amazing amount of fun with no prompting from us grown-ups.  This week, the girls found old buckets and sticks and made their very own restaurant outside complete with "the soup of the day" and a first class wait- staff.  My son and his buddies had paintball wars for 6 hours in the forest this weekend.  My kids made kites out of Walmart bags and yarn.  They play outside until their cheeks are red and their hair is sweaty.  They focus 100% on making the most of the moment.

Our kids don't waste time doing meaningless stuff.  Every silly little thing they do has a lesson to be learned, or a skill to be perfected, or a memorable moment involved in it.  They aren't like adults.  They don't tread water doing mundane things....just waiting for the excitement that lies around the corner.  They create their own adventures in order to completely avoid the mundane.  Somewhere along the way, we grown-ups forget how to live adventurously.  We settle for mediocre days.  I'm not saying that we need to jump out of airplanes and bungee jump from water falls.  We don't need to travel the world, or spend thousands of dollars on lavish vacations.  We just need to rediscover how to make the most out of the day.  Put sprinkles on our oatmeal, eat dinner with the good china on a Monday, burn the "pretty" candles that we've been keeping as a decoration on the shelf, and play an intense game of Mouse Trap with the kids.  Don't go easy on them just because they're four years old.  Use big words and when the kids don't know what they mean...look them up together.  Read an entire story with a lousy British accent.  Pretend like you have no idea what's going on when your baby asks you to point to the sky so she can tickle you for the tenth time today. 

Just breathe in each moment and savor it.  That's what kids do.  They color pictures with furrowed brows and tongues sticking out as if they were creating a Picasso. They want to get rich selling lemonade in their driveway. They dig holes with the intention to reach China.  Do we make ridiculous and lofty goals like this?  Maybe we should.  What's there to lose?  I think we would all enjoy life a little more if we learned to value each moment like a kid.

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