By Adam J. Pearson
Recently, I went to a dinner party and there was a 4 and a half year old girl there. Her name was Beth and she was adorable. She showed me how to play this game with blocks where you have to build pathways for a prince to walk across to his princess and vice versa. She came up with solutions that weren’t in the answer book, but I validated them anyway; they were creative and still made sense.
She laughed uncontrollably for no reason and started singing spontaneously. I couldn’t stop laughing. She called me her big brother. It was so heartwarming. I picked her up and spun her around and put her back down and she started laughing and got dizzy – I put a pillow under her so she wouldn’t hurt herself.
When I had to leave with my family, she clung to my coat. I pretended she was really strong and that I was unable to budge… “Ughhh… Beth, you’re too strong! Big brother has to go home noowwwww…” I said as I strenuously tried to pull myself from her powerful 4 and a half year old hands. She laughed as she pulled my coat and I fell on the ground from her mighty strength. Finally, my family and I left. Her father told me the next day that she had fallen asleep the moment she got home.
Beth reminded me that happiness can always be found in our present moment, that we can have great fun with the smallest things. Adult life is more complicated than the life of a child; we have more responsibilities, but we need not lose touch with the spontaneity, joi de vivre, wonder, curiosity, and love for fun that children reveal to us. We need to always remember that while adults have many lessons for children, children have many lessons for adults as well. Our challenge is to balance our adult knowledge with those beautiful and innocent lessons from children that point the way to a fulfilling life.