Small Choices 1/365: Return to Self

Return to Self

“You’re never too old to have a happy childhood.” – Unknown

I’m starting off my Small Choices project by going back to my roots.

I can’t imagine having a happier childhood. My parents moved to a small town to give their kids a country kind of life. The six of us had endless room to imagine.

I remember almost everything about this picture–the outfit, the shoes, that stuffed pair of hugging mice and my doll Audrey. I even remember the sound of the gravel under my plastic Big Wheel tires as I zoomed down the hill driveway. And how I miss that blonde hair!

A few other memories this picture invokes:

  • Using my dad’s old brief case to play “Spy” and hunting for the enemy through the secret maze of back yard tumble weeds.
  • Walking along the log fence that lined our property like a balance beam.
  • Building forts out of bushes, old farm equipment, spare ply wood lying around the yard, pallets used to hold up plants in our green house. (Can you tell I was sandwiched between brothers?)

It all equals pure and simple joy. I know we’re capable of feeling that way all of our lives if we don’t get in the way of ourselves.

I think how different my childhood must have been from Samantha’s. At times I struggle inside because I can’t turn back the clock for her and give her what I had. But, of course, that would mean she wouldn’t be here with us. All we can do for her is our best.

I felt that childhood joy today as I woke up to the sunshine coming through my bedroom window, knowing that Spring is oh so close. My sister and sister-in-law and their kids and I went out for a lunch picnic to soak it up. The wind was cold when we arrived at the park. We were in denial for twenty minutes and then admitted we were freezing and packed up to head for warmth. But the sliver of beauty and watching my 13 month old niece toddle in the wide open space with a perma-grin was worth it.

Samantha and her friend Maelynn walked home from school today in that cold wind. It’s about a 15 minute walk and Samantha didn’t wear a jacket (normal), but letting her walk home is a new thing and there was no way she was going to give up her new freedom today. Here they are having hot chocolate and toast to warm them up.

Matthew 18:4 – “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Remembering childhood definitely is humbling. And when I let that child in me out as an adult… I don’t think there is a better feeling.

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