Saturday, June 27, 2009

Freedom of a 5-year-old

It's amazing what you can pick up on as you bike to, the other day as I was biking to work there was this little girl on the sidewalk. She wore a long pretty flowered skirt and a T-shirt. Just as I was going by she stopped, went up on her toes, came down and with one arm gracefully extended and the other crooked in beside made a low, elegant sweeping bow to the sun, or trees or God above, I'm not really sure as there was no one in front of her or nearby for that matter.
Now, if I was walking along and suddenly stopped to do a low sweeping bow for no reason or, maybe a twirl in mid step, what would people think? It's like if you tear down the street full tilt when you are 10 or maybe even 12 it is quite acceptable but once you hit about 15 and you tear down the street full tilt, people generally suspect you are either a) stealing something or b) running away from something you shouldn't have done. There is great freedom in childhood: you can skip down the street (try doing that when you are in your 40s), you can run, if you want to, or sing at the top of your lungs.
Again, the other day as I was biking to work I came across a couple. They were well dressed, in their mid 30s and just heading down the sidewalk in an indepth conversation. Nothing wrong with that - but they were also both pushing little scooters. They pushed along, one foot swinging to push and keep the momentum going while the other stayed stationery on the scooters all the while just having a nice morning chat. They showed no self-consciousness to their actions which made me think - "sure, why not ride scooters to work, who cares how old you are or what you are wearing?" But it did look, well odd to me; Biking sure, roller blading even, but scooters?
As we get older we are molded into norms and society's comfortable rules. We become self-conscious of our actions and how we look to others. Oh, the freedom to be 5 again!
Last week on Father's Day the family when paint balling. I want you to know I was fully covered - coveralls, gloves, head gear. But there was one spot I was not. So, as I was walking back to my team after a game I was shot by a team mate (friendly fire) at close range (about 10 feet) right in the throat. If I may make a suggestion, tell your kids to wear turtle necks, or something. The girls at work, most of whom are nurses, scolded me telling me I could have crushed my larynx or damaged my voice box. After a little while of having difficulty breathing I came out all right and continued the game. But what I was left with was a huge wound to my neck and looked like a really big hickey! Talk about self-conscious!


  1. Great post Cyndi. Makes me smile as I remember our trip yesterday to the Library with the kids. We were sitting on the tables outside of the library, enjoying a snack (chocolate cripy treats). As the contents of the box was poured out onto the table a lady came over to us. She just stood (right beside me and stared)!! I smiled at her and she said: "Oh! Can I have one?" She joined us for the snack and truethfully it did make both the kids squirm. They eventually, excused themselves and I offered a chair to the lady. Later the kids asked me about her. I explained that although it appeared that she was all grown up, she was like a child on the inside. Special needs. Really, in so many ways: pure, lovely, honest, and very friendly!

  2. Sometimes...I forget that I am in public.hehe I will often catch myself when I whistle like a bird.:o)