Carry Your Childhood With You.

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” –Tom Stoppard

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”

I read somewhere that one of the best workouts a new mom (to, say, a 7-9 month old) can do is lay on the floor and mimic her baby’s movements. Twisting, lifting, turning, straining, balancing, and generally flailing around is great for core muscles that have been stretched and neglected in the 9 months of pregnancy.

I remember, after I had Naturalist, the first time I realized I had no core muscle strength. I think I was trying to pull myself up from laying down by doing a sit up, and I didn’t sit up. I didn’t even sit. Or go up. I continued to lay there while willing any muscle in my abs to work even a little bit.

My arm strength had improved due to hauling around baby, carrier, diaper bag, and the other 45 pounds of stuff one needs while traveling with a newborn. My leg strength was off the charts due to endless hours walking around trying to calm down the rather restless Naturalist. But my core was sadly neglected.

I don’t think this core workout stops at physical strength, and I think mimicking our kids can give us an even bigger emotional workout.

If our core muscles need exercise to remain strong, our core happiness needs a childlike wonder to keep it going.

My goal is to jump out of bed with all the enthusiasm of my 6 year old. To become involved as deeply in something I’m interested in as my 13 year old. To play as hard and as long at something as my 10 year old does at basketball.

To do this, I have to sit back and make an effort to learn how to do this from them. Mimic their way of being. Not take myself so seriously and just go ahead and take a big flying leap off a high dive, even though it scares the crap out of me. Participate in a footrace, even though I might lose. (and I did.) Focus on the one thing in front of me instead of letting my mind wander to the 3048304598 things I’m worried about. Laugh deeply. Spaz out. Get on a bike and just ride. Eat desert before dinner every once in a while. Get some ice cream from the ice cream man.

Summer brings with it endless opportunities to let our kids share with us how to bring some of that priceless childhood back into our lives.

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10 Responses

  1. what a wonderful idea. I’m IN !! 😀

  2. Oh, Tiff. I needed this so badly today. I am in a bad way right now. As I sit here contemplating how to get my fat *ss in shape, I come to your blog and find the answer. I have gained a lot! of weight the last couple of years. Not sure you intended your words as pertaining to weight loss, but that is one of the things I am dealing with right now personally. I have become so lazy emotionally and physically. But tomorrow, I will leap from my bed with the enthusiasum of a six year old. I love that! Thank you for your words….

  3. I’ll play too.

  4. Oh, I so really needed to hear this today! Thank you so much for everything that you write. Its amazing how 90% of the time you write about things I need to hear, or things I’ve been thinking about! I love your blog!!

  5. Yes, yes, yes, follow the child, follow the children! Peace, Nicki

  6. Great ideas!!!

  7. I find this so difficult to do. As much as I try – I rarely ever really reach that childhood innocence fun. I always have something pulling me back. I try to think back about fun times in my childhood – I know that I had them…but I think I had a lot of upheveal in my younger years that I have forgotten what its like to just be. I need to find that place, Tiff…I really really do. Thanks for the reminder

  8. Hooray again! It gets less embarrassing as you get used to being childlike. I’m pretty conservative, but happy to swing at the park (if no kids are waiting though, I’m not that mean!), sing and dance at home, put my art on the fridge and would like to climb a tree if I found the right one. Life’s for living!

  9. […] In addition to eating ice cream, there are lots of opportunities to get out with your kids and let them show you their world. Don’t be afraid to do what they do! Here are a few more ways my kids help me keep my childhood with me always: […]

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