Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Childlike Excitement

When I think about it, I’m sort of glad that I have a long drive to work. It’s thinking, reflecting, singing time for me. By the time I get there, I’m more relaxed and you would probably think the opposite because of all the crazies out there, but for the most part, I kick back, get in the old lady slow lane and listen to my radio and think. I absorb all sorts of inspiration.

On my way to work this morning, I passed two young boys  riding their bikes to school. They were both pedaling as fast as they could to get their speed up so they could coast down the upcoming hill.

When they reached the down slope, one of the boys lifted his arms and proceeded to coast hands free. The laughter and whooping they were doing reminded me of those crazies (yes, you know who you are!) on roller coaster rides who scream bloody murder with their hands raised in the air. Unlike me who gave those life-threatening rides up years ago. I watched this boy’s face in the rear-view mirror and the huge smile, wide-eyed, heart-slamming exhilaration on his face got me thinking.

When was the last time I experienced that kind of childlike excitement? And how often do we even look for that elusive feeling? What can we do to get it back occasionally? Maybe we just get complacent and the emotion is there, we just have to reach out, grab hold of it and allow it back into our hearts.

Think back to your own childhood, as far back as you can go in your mind, and try to remember the events or even favorite items that brought out that childlike happiness and joy. Now try to think of things in the present world that give you the elation that you remember feeling back then. I think you will be surprised as I was that even small events can bring back that indescribable childlike excitement.

Some of my own memories of this feeling occurring when I think back to the time my father bought me beach gear for my birthday. We lived in Pensacola Florida at the time. I was asleep and on my birthday morning, he came in our bedroom (I shared a room with my little brother – bunk beds) he slid a fully inflated float through the rungs at the end of the bed, right on top of me. I remember waking us so exited because I knew this meant I was going to get to go to the beach that day! I loved and still love the beach.

Another time I remember was the first time my mom let me go shopping for whatever I wanted for my birthday. I had a blast.

Now this little one is
much braver than me!
 One more time was when my parents would allow me to go to the country with my best friend. We would ride on the tailgate of her grandpa’s old beat-up white pickup truck on our way out to feed the cattle. With our feet dangling over the side and every bump threatening to spill both of us out onto the hard ground, we’d giggle and loudly sing off key “Somewhere over the rainbow”. Happiest of times in my memory.

So I thought about now and what gave me those same wonderful, warm and fuzzy feelings and made a short list. And if I keep thinking more occasions pop into my mind.

Visiting with my children
When my husband or children buy me a thoughtful gift out of the blue
Whenever I get to go on a trip to anywhere

Sitting in the middle of a bunch of feeding deer
Whenever I come up with a new story idea
Getting a new electronic toy
Taking off of work
Seeing Babies
Getting my own domain name

Give it a shot, see what wonderful things you can come up with on your list. I bet you’ll be surprised how many things you can name.
Happy childlike excitement reliving!


  1. What wonderful memories, Wendy. Taking joy in such small things is truly a gift, especially in this world of over-blown everything. To this day, one of those moments for me is waking up on Christmas morning to hear my grandparents talking with my mom and dad in the kitchen. They'd driven all night from Texas to Kansas to surprise us. I get a sweeping feeling of warmth every time I think of that.
    Other small things that encourage and elate me are: when my son pops a Coke, settles into his chaise and talks to me for eons; the joy of a good book; finding a good bargain; getting a new purse; puppy kisses...
    Lots and lots of things give me that feeling of joy, thanks for reminding me to slow down and enjoy it.

  2. Wendy, what a nice idea. I do remember the feeling. Not experiencing it today, but the memories are there to draw on.

  3. Thanks Jennifer and Caroline. I'm trying to draw on things that make me feel good and I'm often surprised how many there are all around me! Thanks for visiting.