Yesterday, after a meeting with a client, the immaculate weather inspired me to run some errands and enjoy some daylight for a change. Getting out of my car and heading toward the office supply store in a nearby shopping center, my mind was focused on the list of items I needed to buy. As I approached the store entrance, a woman passed me on the sidewalk. Negotiating a turn around a nearby bush was her little boy, about three or four years old, running with a big shopping bag, which was trailing behind him like a big kite. The exuberance on his face was so pure and innocent. My first thought was what a wonderful photograph the scene would have made: a little boy with a big smile and an even bigger bag flying in the breeze he was making as he ran.
It made me think of my childhood, and how entertaining the littlest things could be. We could make something fun out of just about anything – an old baby blanket, some blocks, or a stack of blank paper and some crayons!
After making my purchases, I stopped in McDonald’s to get a bite to eat. At a nearby table, a young man and his little daughter were eating their lunch and exploring the Monopoly board and game pieces that came with their meal. They were both having the best time, not so much because of the game itself, but just being in each other’s presence. I’m not sure who was enjoying it more, the little girl or her father. Again, I thought what a wonderful picture it would make. Having a few game pieces myself, which I had no intention of using, I took them over and placed them on their table. The father’s smile said “thank you” as he returned his focus to his daughter so they could continue further on their big adventure, wherever that was in their minds.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the seriousness of adulthood, which makes us forget to have fun. It’s okay to do nothing. Or to go for a walk and enjoy the flowers. Or to pull out a stack of blank paper and some crayons and see where inspiration takes you. This is what life is about.
We have those snapshots in our mind – the memories of a simpler time. That doesn’t mean we can’t stop to take new pictures along our adult journey to save in the album of our mind. At the end of a highly spiritual and emotional week for me, I have the opportunity to thank a little boy and his mother, and a little girl and her father, for taking a brief instant to remind me that my inner child is still alive and well and living inside me. I think I’ll go outside and play!