I have often had close friends and family look at me with the We-cant-believe-you-are-still-doing-this eyes when somehow the adult in me transforms back into the child I used to be.
Let’s just start by saying that I absolutely love children (but other people’s of course). Not only because they are tiny, adorable, squish-able and all the different kinds of adjectives for the ‘most superior kind of cute’ but also because they are the simplest form of human life that exists. No pretensions, no drama, no complications. Can be annoying, yes, but still, just simple innocence.
When I am on a train/a bus or in a cafe for a weekend brunch or taking a walk in a family friendly park on a Sunday – one of my favourite things to do is to watch and listen to the actions, expressions and conversations of the kids around. It somehow relaxes me, calms me down, takes me away from the daily hustle.
They are always so full of life. Even when they cry, it’s as though they are ready to embrace any emotion. As if there imaginations are running through every corner of the world. As if they could fly and land on the moon. And I can see a queer belief in their dreamy eyes which says: anything is possible.
Before last year, I had only witnessed these most lovable creatures god sent to planet earth, from a distance. Probably played with them or spoke to them for a few minutes, but that’s about it. But that changed when my beloved sister had a beautiful baby boy and I became an aunt!
I still remember how scared I was to hold him at first. I thought I was probably going to break him, had never held something so delicate ever before. I can’t describe what I felt.
He is 9-months old now (He is growing up so fast!) It’s magical, almost unreal to see him transform every day. I try and talk to him in his own language (sounds mostly), mimic his gestures to make him laugh, widen my eyes to bewilder him, play with his toys for him because he doesn’t know how to, crawl on my fours with him to keep him company, create a mess of things as he does and absolutely annoy my sister in the process!
And now, I am much more familiar with how these creatures exist in and interact with the world. But somehow as an absolute surprise to me at times, none of it is new. It’s almost instinctive and natural. It feels like I am connecting to something inside me while I connect with him.
And that’s when I know, I am still a child. This realisation always makes me smile. It makes me believe that I am a good person and that everyone around me is too.
Adulthood is a crazy journey. So much to worry about, so much to do, so much to achieve. And of course, things are not as simple as they used to be when we were little. And so in the midst of growing up, we lose touch with that little creature that lives quietly inside us.
The little one who craves imagination, who wants to run into wilderness, who thinks he can fly. The one who is sure that he/she could dive into the depths of the sea (mostly just the kids’ bathtub) or climb the highest peak (probably the bed/sofa). Of course, we can’t really be children again. But it feels good to bring that side out sometimes. It’s magically liberating.
And it reminds us once again that the world is a beautiful place, after all.