My inner child has been a tiny bit restless, I say ‘tiny’ because she’s pretty small, and imagine that she is still cute – not the annoying and terrible thing that her older brother saw her as. The image of the child above the text here is not of little me. Sadly, the link that I found for this image was posted at has been abandoned:
404 – File or directory not found.
Therefore, I am rescuing this child’s image! It’s what I’d imagine my inner child would have been like if she ‘lived a little.’ When we look at children, some of them are fearless and open and abundant with their thoughts. They play around with their friends with the industriousness of a full imagination just pouring out into the world. On any given day, there could be epic missions, and heroic rescues. They live with the purpose of their imaginations and process their emotions as moments that come and go. One day there’s a fall from a bike, wailing and tears. The next day the child is doing bicycle loops around their dad who is beyond proud of them: stunning and amazed. We are most amazed by how independent children are, how despite all the influencing around them, they still end up just being themselves. Many of them are confident and busy at play. To me, this IS the essence of my inner child.
When I used to work with children and tutor them, I enjoyed seeing their eyes light up when they reached within themselves and drew a picture, or answered a math question, or danced to a song by their own choreography. Many of the students I saw in my classroom wanted to be singer/songwriter/musicians/acrobats. Many of them wanted to be stars, celebrities. My heart ached when one of my students felt excluded from an activity that the administration was doing for students who attended a certain number of days. The students I tutored were from the inner city school. There were lots of cut programs and tutoring was an attempt at filling after-school gaps. This particular student, M., cried and cried. I ached right along with her. I can’t tell you that I’m the opinionated type that took sides either with the administration or her broken heart. I did not feel this was my cause nor my duty to make anything just, nor to eliminate her sadness by fighting for what she wanted. I just did my best to comfort her, seeing her process as a continuous initiation into all the trials that we ever, as humans in society, endure.
There are simply times that we are excluded, there are times that some students get rewarded more than others, there are times when peers are mean or just simply uninterested. I try to remember the kindergarteners that I worked with at the Navajo reservation in Tuba City, Arizona when I was assisting as a volunteer for my Spring break during undergrad. That’s a beautiful age when the kids surrounded each other, and also gave each other space. At least in this classroom, this was the situation. They seemed to understand when one child excluded himself from the group activities and instead focused intently on the magic of the wall map. They interpreted that he just wanted to do what he wanted to do. They didn’t seem to need to make an excuse for him in their minds or with each other, “he’s different.” The didn’t perceive him as “different” just doing what he wanted to do. When the activity ended, they all joined hands with him and me. That little child, F., I was told, had fetal alcohol syndrome. He was a little angel. I think he was perfect, but I do know how hard we work to accommodate and make an early intervention. Sadly, this student wasn’t attending school very often, and the limitations of being a teacher and pursuing that particular course any further felt rather unfulfilling. After all, I was an anthropology major, a participant-observer.
Eventually I worked with a group ESL students from Burma, and I enjoyed setting up their classroom and making worksheets, and really enjoyed talking with them – the goal was getting often getting them to speak in their non-native language. If I had continued working with children, I probably would have enjoyed the high school groups more – as for right now – the inner “teenager” aspect of me is very much alive. Those creative years when I would join my older friends at their colleges while I was still in high school. I would paint in my one friend’s studio; and we were wild. Yes, alcohol was involved. That kind of freedom to be wild; that rebellion in some sense, that was the best medicine for my creativity and my friendships. I still miss J. but she never liked technology, nor public attention. I’ve got a lot of ‘inner friends’ who represent all sorts of sides of me. I’m toasting to her right now…. wherever you are… you will always be loved; and I will always appreciate the wildness that you inspired in me! Somehow we were “old” before we were ever really young. I’ve been seeing a lot of memes that say, “Growing older, growing bolder.” It seems that getting bolder are acts of courage we all could use; and it doesn’t come from a place of naiveté, as much as it comes from place of having been wounded before, but moving forward anyways.
Luckily, life gives us plenty of opportunity for exploring all the ‘inners’ with all the ‘outers.’ Thanks to Sindy from Bluebutterliesandme for tagging me in this blog challenge, and I am grateful that you extended your dates. Thank you to Aquileanna from La Audacia de Aquiles: El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto for the Creative Blogger nomination! I honestly take this award as a challenge to get more creative, and to ‘live a little more fully.’ I am so humbled by you and yours. I mean that in the best way!! 😀
Here are my nominations for the Creative Blogger Award. Please note that if you are not “into” awards, that is fine, just please accept my appreciation for your creativity!!! Also, if you already have the award, then here’s another one, this time **from me, with love**!
With the nomination we thank the person that nominated us, add a logo to our posts, and nominate 10 bloggers of our choice and let them know that you nominated them. I think that when I link your blog, WP will ping you. I’m not 100% sure, though. Please please visit these blogs, if you have not already, and have happy times with these bloggers and their original content and uniqueness.