We love to torture our kids. And by torture I mean tickle them, "eat" them up, chase them around, pretend our hand is a monster . . . you know. Torture. The sweet kind. I imagine that's a fairly universal love of parents the world over, and it's no great secret why. We do it because we love to hear that belly laugh, hear those delighted shrieks of "No, no! Hey, why'd you stop? Do it again, do it again!" We love to see those huge smiles on their faces.
We love their abandon.
My hubby will tickle me, too, but we often get a good laugh out of how he does the same "gobble" to me he does with the kids, and I just look at him. And usually say, "Um . . . sorry. I'm not as much fun as the kids, am I?" Which yeah, makes us chuckle. But it's not a belly laugh. Those same simple things don't result in such instant joy once we grow up.
Man . . . I sure wish they did!
The abandon of a small child has its ups and downs. It results in those moments of unbridled bliss, and it results in equally unbridled fits. Laughter and tears in equal measures, joy and frustration, love and rage. I'm sometimes amazed at how my kids can go from total contentment in their game with each other to hitting each other and screaming at the top of their lungs, then straight back to fun.
It's something we learn to control as we grow up, something we teach those kids to do. Self control is important, especially when it comes to those negatives. And those who never learn it . . . end up with reality shows on TV??? ;-) Seriously, that control is a must, yes.
But what are some of your best moments from adulthood? Are they when you're sitting there, perfectly controlled? Are they when you don't react to something? No--our favorite moments are the ones where we regain a moment of childhood abandon and embrace the joy of life. When we scream our heads off on a roller coaster. When we laugh until we cry. When we let it all go and just live.
Sometimes it's hard to do that, especially in this stage of my life where I have to keep the Mommy turned on. Oh, I can laugh with my kids. But I'm also trying to make sure knees don't collide with heads as we wrestle, that things tossed up in joy come down in one piece. I'm trying to protect and nurture and so can't give my full attention to the game. I have to do this. I love to do this.
But sometimes I just wish I could let loose a belly laugh and not care.
And that goes for my prayer life too. That should be the one place I can let go completely, but even there I'm usually trying to protect--myself. I find myself praying, "Lord, you know I hope . . . you know I fear . . . I'm trying not to hope too much because then I fear I'll be disappointed . . . I'm trying not to expect disappointment though because that would be faithless . . . I don't want to assume your will . . . I don't want to miss your will . . ."
But there I need to let go of the control. With the Lord, I need to be unafraid of the extremes. I need to show him the highs and the lows. I need to be unafraid of letting that kid inside me out before my Father.
I need to embrace the abandon.