What does it mean to “act like a child”?

I feel like for many that term has a negative connotation to it, as if you are not acting what is considered appropriate for your age. After today’s events, however, I feel quite differently toward that statement.
I think acting like a child is a pure state of unadulterated living. A child sees the world from a different perspective on so many different levels (literally, because they are physically smaller). I feel as though the younger the kid is the more beautiful and strange and wonderful the world can have the potential to be. As an “adult” I feel like much of the time I lose that sense of wonder. However, recently I have been babysitting very young kids and seeing the world through their eyes has been awe-inspiring.
I just started watching a four month old: Viola. She’s tiny. I picked her up and walked around the apartment with her and watched as she took in her surrounding. I would carry her over to the wall and say “Yes! Look at that brick! it’s rough, want to touch it? Oh, man! What a strange feeling, huh? That is a red brick. Ha ha!” And as I watched her break in to a smile at my reaction to her reaction I laughed at the joy that that moment was and thought: Why can’t life be this simple and amazing all the time? Where does the wonder and joy leave life and boring every day “adulthood” take it’s place? I don’t want to live in a state that says I need to act any way. I want to be and be happy.
I experimented today with what acting on my impulses means. I laughed when I wanted to, I skipped when I felt like I needed to (at the thought that I was going to treat myself to a cookie and tea!) I ate when I was hungry, and sat when I was tired. I spent the large majority of the day outside, in good company with a friend I enjoyed spending company with. I spoke when I wanted and listened when I wanted (and if I didn’t feel like listening: I didn’t!) I breathed in the air and took large uninhibited sighs and yawns and stretches. When I saw the sun set I stopped and watched it for a while, not feeling like I was silly or “that good girls don’t stop and stare at sunsets in the middle of the street…”. Nope. I did whatever the hell I wanted. And it felt unbelievable. I felt Brave. Brave and strong and awake. More so than I have felt in a very, very long time.
So: Here’s to acting like a child! Like an impulsive, exploratory, rambunctious kid. I am babysitting Viola again tomorrow and I’ll have another lesson with her. Then, I’m rounding my evening off with another date with Mr. Tall.
Onward! To Life and living and doing whatever the Hell I want to! Hazzah!

November 2, 2011 at 1:59 am by Natalie Allen