Friday, September 29, 2006

Through a Child's Eyes

Last night, my son decided to entertain me while his show (The Emperor's New Groove) was playing. His choice of game for most the evening doesn't really have a name, though it involves lots of running. Basically, he runs from the door into the garage, through the living room, touches a cabinet in the kitchen, and back to the garage door. Repeat. Often.

Many parents would immediately tell any child doing this to stop. And honestly, that was my first instinct. Seeing the sheer glee in his eyes, and listening to the sincere laughter coming from my son, I quashed that instinct. So long as safety is assured, childhood excitement of this nature should never be stopped. In fact, it should be promoted.

Do you remember when you were a child? How the simple act of running, regardless of destination, was a source of joy in and of itself. No times, no age group ranking, no health concerns, no finish lines, no training plans. Just pure, innocent, uncontrollable excitement to be moving.

When do we lose that? When does this pure love of motion turn into work? Probably about the same time we start getting told to stop running around and to sit down. As adults, we stifle the love of running our kids display so freely. It's actually a bit sad.

Imagine how children might turn out if that love of activity was promoted and developed. Perhaps video games and computers would be a diversion from the physical instead of the other way around. Perhaps we would raise a generation of athletes who participate for the love of the sport. Perhaps training would be a hobby instead of something they do because they must.

Many adults try to stop my son from running. I politely ask them to refrain from doing that. After making sure he is safe from injury, I send my son on his way. On his full speed ahead, laughing like a madman, glint in his eye way. Perhaps, if he runs enough, some of his attitude will rub off on me.


Comm's said...

Mighty Mo and I have a running game. He stands at the far end of one room and I at the other, about 50 feet apart directly across from each other.

We bow to each other.

Then hold up our arm straight out making a fist, like a jousting pole.

Then charge at each other, just passing each other without touching like ridig horse, running to the opposiste side of the room.


Through the eyes of child...

Hak said...

Ain't that the truth. Stuck in an urban environment these days, we simply do not have the wide open, or safe, spaces to let our kids run free. Hopefully, that will resolved for my family within the next 12 months.

Until then, we have beautiful weather coming here in Vegas and it's time to take the munchkins outdoors once again to run free.


nancytoby said...

I like your attitude!

My girl Catherine would rather run big circles around the playground than do slides or swings or almost anything. You go, girl!

emily said...

When I was a kid my brother and I could spend an entire summer afternoon running after each other with squirt guns. We'd crash around in the woods and in the neighbors yards ambushing each other. Maybe my running partners and I need to bring squirt guns on a trail run sometime... thanks for the idea...

Veeg said...

My 18-month-old Bitty Girl does not walk anywhere if running is an option. And her joy in doing so is absolutely contagious -- she absolutely crows "I WUNNING!" over and over while she's doing it.

And I have to say, holding that image in your head? Will get ya through a lot of tough workouts. :)

Cliff said...

Thanks for sharing this post IronPol.

I thoguht about that throughout my season. If I am going to suffer this much pain, I might as well enjoy it.

I never thought about just letting the kid do what he/she wants....just being joyful with no purpose at all.