One day, completely out of the blue and as serious as can be, our eight year-old granddaughter comes out with, “I gotta get me some lambroids.” We couldn’t help but bust out laughing! Where did that come from?
Over the holidays, our son Luke and his family were staying with us. Grandpa Sam and I were up early with the three granddaughters. We started the day with a healthy serving of cinnamon rolls (gluten-free qualifies as healthy) and lactose-free milk. The youngest, whose three years-old, stands up, does a quick one-two karate jab and yells, “Purple Power!”
There’s something to be said about spontaneity and imaginative abandon. Kids are full of both. There’s an unconscious freedom they exude and it’s especially evident when they play. Whether entertaining themselves or playing with others, children create, develop, and embellish stories and scenarios that help them explore and navigate their environments. Imaginative play is an important part of good child development.
Maybe adults need to take a lesson from kids. What if adults occasionally traded the scripted role for a spontaneous activity? Instead of cleaning up after pulling weeds or watering, why not lay on the grass and find hidden shapes in the clouds? Remember making kites out of newspaper and getting the tail just right so it would fly? What about a paper boat or rubber duck race in the town fountain or local creek? The possibilities are limitless. Planning not necessary. Make do with what you have on hand. Use your imaginative play as a break in the otherwise mundane chores of adult life.
It’s very easy for my to get stuck in my routines. I’ve never been good coming up with fun, spontaneous things to do. I’ve found that interspersing routine chores with little fun diversions, not only makes the routine stuff more tolerable, but I’m always refreshed instead of worn out.
Our granddaughters reminded me of something else: it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Doing it together is what makes it special. They want you to play with them, not merely be in the same room, watching. Hmm. Being actively present and engaged is definitely a lesson for adults. Taking a cue from Aliya, just standing up, raising my arms and yelling, “Purple Power,” gets me in the right frame of mind. Or, I can always use Keana’s, “I gotta get me some lambroids” for a little motivation.
What are some of your ideas for spontaneous fun?