happy: childhood delights

The beauty of being a mom is that it’s part of your job to play, watch cartoons, sing songs, dance whenever you feel like (even if that’s in the middle of a popular midtown restaurant at 6pm), and make your child giggle whenever possible. People always remark at the amazing freedom that comes with visiting Disneyland…  a place where they can be a kid again for a day. Well, with your own kids, you get to recapture some of that magic in the every day, and that’s pretty darn special.

I had a friend who loved to color in coloring books during college. It was her stress release. Now, it’s often Mr. M and I finding ourselves hanging out at the coloring table and doodling while Miss L wanders away to find something else to capture her attention in the moment. In other words, we’re getting swept away.

Miss L and I still paint in the bathtub every time she takes a bath. Or, thanks to a new bubble machine, she pops bubbles and we widen our gaze upon the hundreds of them floating down and piling up.

I spend 15 minutes each night honoring her song requests after the lights are out… and I sing silly songs and do silly dances. And when she turns her meal and highchair into the latest Picasso oil, I tell her that we need to eat our food and not play with it, but I’m silently delighted at the freedom that she has to just flip a bowl over and paint with milk.

It’s funny how doing all of these things helps remind you about your passions when you were young. The things you love at your core, but perhaps haven’t had a chance to shine in normal everyday life.

Like singing and dancing. I’m no expert at either, but I miss the enjoyment of performing and rehearsing and putting on a show for a few or hundreds. And now I get to introduce that happiness when I sing along in the car, or when Miss L has hit the magic, “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” button for the 33rd time that day and we do our little song/dance routine we made up for it).

Or doodling. Or wearing crazy bright colors and picking out a totally mismatched outfit and clapping because you’re so happy to wear it. (haven’t done that last one yet… but I should try one Sunday morning!)

Being a kid was pretty darn awesome, and reliving a small part of the wonder and enjoyment of childhood with Miss L has been an absolute gift of happiness.

The Happiness Project – 1/13/12: What childish pleasures do you enjoy, or wish you took the time to enjoy?

[I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in—no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.]


  • Laura

    I love this! Except is it bad that I’ve been looking for excuses to sing and dance for much longer than Es been around. Now I just feel less silly doing it in public :)