In our early days of nappy wearing, ABC kids and tantrums, our little minds were working over time soaking up every minute of life as it happened. We became aware of sight, sense, smell, and taste and we ran wild with our imaginations. Suddenly that tree in the backyard could quite literally become a prison for pirates lost at sea.
So what happened to fantasy?
It never shook hands with us and said its goodbye’s, it never made it clear how important it was. It simply just packed up without warning and left. A friend who had kept us safe from the monsters under our bed , who would collect our teeth for the tooth kingdom and who let us sing about the ocean with a red haired mermaid, just simply left.
It is often indistinct that we miss its presence at all until you hear that familiar Disney song from your childhood. We all have our favourite; those childhood tunes that wrap you up in their chorus and take you back to the time where you mind ran with imagination. So why do we get that ‘awww’ feeling when we re-ignite with those classic tunes?
Over the years I have done some nannying, and I mean a lot. Apart from the constant annoying questions and mess they can make, I have actually learnt a thing or two from them. In fact I have discovered why I find myself bursting with joy singing to the little mermaids “Under the sea”.
Playfulness is ultimately the language of children and in these early stages of your life, adult social expectations and embarrassments simply did not exist. You didn’t give a damn if you walked around in your Elsa costume all day, nor did you care whether you knew that tree in your backyard was not a pirate ship. You just went with it!
When you take a leaf from a child’s life, you learn to just let it go (yep frozen reference). You loosen the reins of your inhibitions, become present in the moment and re-connect with the simplicity of play. Playfulness is deeply seeded in our normal way of life but is often controlled by practicality.
My boyfriend recently told me of an instance whilst he was driving and stopped at traffic lights. He could hear ‘girls just wanna have fun’ blaring in the car next to him, he looked to his right to find four fully-grown men singing their lungs out to each other whilst making the car rock from horrendous dance moves. At the next red traffic light he then replied with ‘barbie girl’ being blasted through his own speakers. Needles to say, it was kinda a 'bro thing' and both cars were were laughing and belting 'ohhhh girlls they wanna have ffarrrnn!' at the top of their lungs.
It made such a lasting impression on the boy, that he came home to tell me with a smile from ear to ear.
It is this kind of playfulness, silly energy and fun that free’s us from adult expectations and reconnects us with our inner little person. We take this energy and remember what it feels like to just enjoy the moment. Yes, we may not play with fantasy like our little self anymore, but we sure can learn to enjoy the freedom, simplicity and wisdom from our child spirit.