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A Childlike Heart


While married to my previous husband, a good friend stopped by to visit one day and asked me a question that hit home.  He said, "What have you done that was fun lately?" Our marriage had been at the disaster stage for some time, and I realized in that moment that I couldn't think of one thing I'd done recently, or even in the past six months, that felt like fun.  It troubled me greatly, because life is clearly too short to never experience simple pleasures.  My ex's idea of fun at that point was hanging out with his bandmates getting wasted, and the few attempts I'd made to plan something fun with him outside of that framework had failed miserably.  The great majority of the time I felt trapped and very sad. 

When I finally broke free of that relationship and eventually met up with the Papa Bear, I discovered something wonderful... life over fifty can be filled with laughter and playfulness, and fun adventures.  Papa Bear has an amazing childlike heart.  He makes silly faces and uses silly voices, he does sweet romantic things like picking wild flowers, he engages in playful behavior like having a cake fight in the middle of a crowded restaurant, he is eager to please, he is sensitive and caring, he enjoys sharing simple things like the ducks in the park, our cats' crazy antics, sugar and cinnamon toast, and sitting underneath the stars. He will come in the house smiling like a little boy, with his hands behind his back hiding a treat for me. The list goes on and on, and never fails to make me smile.  Even though life is hard and we often deal with difficult issues, he knows how to set it aside and make time to be happy. He knows how to make me laugh.  I have laughed far more in the past eight years than I did in the entire 54 before I met him!

There is a difference between being childish with irresponsible and often selfish behavior, and being childlike which is a matter of the heart. I tend to take life very seriously, but through him I've learned that it's still possible to retain the childlike joy and love for life that many grown-ups seem to lose in the process of becoming adults.  I may not always act like an "adult", and at times that may surprise you, but I think that life is much more fun with a few surprises. :-)
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I'm linking up with In Other Words over at Patricia's Place
where the writing prompt was the following quotation:
"Another belief of mine:
that everyone else my age is an adult,
whereas I am in disguise."
-Margaret Atwood



6 comments:

  1. Always keep in touch with your inner child, that way you really are just in disguise as an adult!

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    1. And that's a very good way to be, Mimi! Adulting is hard work and we need a way to unwind and have fun, just like we did as kids!

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  2. LOVE THIS!! Yes, we need to keep that child-like look of wonder and awe of the world around us. That's where the fun and the magic is. :)

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    1. I so agree! When we close our eyes and heart to the simply good things in life, it all becomes pretty meaningless, and that's so fun at all. I know too many who live like walking zombies, and it's sad.

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  3. Life is too short to be seriously adult. Childlike wonder of life should last a lifetime and it will if we don't let our hearts harden. Helps to have someone like Papa Bear around to keep things simple and in perspective. Thanks for sharing with In Other Words you have an important message here.

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    1. That's exactly right, Patricia, it is about keeping our hearts open and not becoming embittered about life. Papa Bear is my balance beam, he cheers me up when I'm gloomy and reminds my by his actions that it's ok to be silly and have fun. We need that release from the cares of the day! I love "In Other Words", it's my reflective exercise for the week, thank you for offering this each week!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)