Some time ago, I rediscovered my love for colouring. I bought a large pack of Crayola crayons (and then had to endure people asking me every time they came to my house – why do you have those crayons here – do they belong to your nephew? And of course being so embarrassed that I just say yes they are his when they are secretly mine). And a colouring book, as well as downloading a number of sheets online. I used some of them as stationery and sent them to friends when I was in letter writing mode earlier this year, and then one friend returned the favour and sent me one to colour.
It made me think about childhood and all the fun things that children do, until they get older and they have to do “serious stuff”. Then a few days ago, my sister mentioned to me that she was noticing how much children laugh. Of course being a primary school teacher, and spending a lot of time with a 3 year old nephew, she is an expert on such things. She estimated that children laugh 7 times as much as adults do (I estimate it closer to 10, but these nuances are almost irrelevant to the point I am making). It made me wonder why we laugh less and less as we reach adulthood. I mean – children will laugh at ANYTHING! I remember as a child, we had some neighbourhood children that we used to play with, and I have a distinct memory of sitting around and laughing our heads off as we recited nursery rhymes. One of the guys would say a line and we would be in fits of laughter. We found the laughter in so many things as children, and sometimes I watch my nephew, and he has that same joy. He makes jokes (this is not the place to debate if they actually are funny) and then he sits and laughs at them. Or he asks to play hide and seek, and then when he hides you can hear him giggling from his chosen spot in the cupboard, or behind the chair. I feel that as we get older, we get bogged down with “reality” and we lose that childhood sense of fun.
I challenged my sister to return to childhood mirth, and start seeing the funny side of everything for a day, and see how it goes. I am going to try the same thing, although my days are a bit more restrictive now that I have fractured my ankle. Even so, I found that bursting into laughter randomly during the day actually lightens my mood, just like colouring does. It seems as if we should all attempt to revisit childhood more often, and for me I will definitely be doing more childhood activities over the next few weeks – colouring, fixing jigsaw puzzles, watching cartoons and laughing my head off – after all – laughter is the best medicine!
Lastly, at the end of this post, there is a link to a short film that I saw some time ago. Warning - it did make me shed a little tear. It looks at how we can destroy the childhood mirth in our children if we aren't careful, and encourages us all to do something silly. I love it! I know that we have to get serious in life, but I definitely feel the importance of joy and fun. And the photo above is one I took quite some time ago. A few years ago, my aunt and I had the idea to make our own Christmas cards, and on one of my days off, we drove down to the beach with a series of props, so that we could stage some photos to eventually turn into Christmas cards. It was hilarious for us (and to those who were watching us prop up a small Christmas tree and teddy bear on a rock in the sea and try not to let them wash away!!!). And we did create the Christmas cards - we did them as postcards.
What were your favourite childhood activities that you could do now? Would they bring you fun? When is the last time you did something hilarious just for the fun of it?
Big love from the couch!!
Ps here is the link