Understanding “Kid Fun” as a Secret to Success: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

Here’s a story I heard from a friend recently about a day she spent in the park with her under 12-year-old nephew.

They went for a walk, played tag with some other kids, played on the jungle gym,  and went to the ice-cream truck to have their favorite ice cream cone.  It was a great day!

As the day came to a close they began making their way back to his house, enjoying their ice cream as they walked. Over time though, she noticed that the little boy began falling behind.

After she had stopped walking she looked back at him, smiled, and motioned with her hands for him to catch up.

In a few moments they were walking together again, enjoying their ice cream as they had before, and reminiscing about what had taken place that day.

They talked for a while, but at one point mid-sentence she looked over and noticed he wasn’t walking next to her anymore.

This time he seemed to be almost dragging his feet, with his head facing the ground, doing some interesting looking stepping gestures.

She turned around once more, smiled, and called out to him saying “Come on. I know we had fun today, but don’t you want to get home?”

The little boy smiled back and said enthusiastically “You know what? You don’t understand kid fun. No adult does.”

“Look!”

“See? If you slow down, you can jump over rocks, use the cracks in the road to balance like you were on a tightrope, skip over bricks to hop over the hot lava, there’s so much you can do!”

Children are so resilient and creative, and have an ability to make fun out of almost anything!

Hearing that story really made me pause. It made me think that maybe I should look into understanding this “kid fun”  thing a little better myself.

While we may often find ourselves preoccupied on our individual roads to “somewhere”, listening to her story reminded me of how important it is to slow down, and take time to appreciate the people and things around us.

What do you think? Was the little one onto something?

Grace & Peace,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW

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I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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2 Responses

  1. rootedinbeing says:

    Kids are always onto something. I think they know the secret of life better than adults.

    • I know! Sometimes it can be easy for adults to look at kids as being immature or silly, but when I hear stories like this I’m reminded that I can take notes from them, particularly when it comes to establishing priorities.

      Kids can say the simplest, but most profound things at times.

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