When I was very little, no one had to tell me to play. No one had to tell my siblings either. We knew how to have fun, run around, fight with sticks, climb trees. Sing like we were good!
Mom and dad would have to call us in some nights. We just wanted to keep playing.
But as we grew, we would get bored and complain there was nothing to do. Sometimes, mom would take us for a walk.
And on these walks, she taught us the excitement of learning, of discovering. We were thrilled when we found a new bug or a piece of petrified wood. We'd pay attention to the bird calls. Find flowers in cracks in the road.
Mom had that joy til the end of her life. She loved watching the birds with Daddy. Seeing the flowers my sister-in-law planted in their front yard.
She never lost that wide-eyed wonder about the world around her. There were times she seemed all business when we were growing up. But my goodness, she and daddy had six kids! With me being one of them! She deserved to get grumpy in my book!
But even so, she loved life. She loved Daddy. Us kids. Her grandkids. Most of all, God.
She passed all that love down.
One amazing thing she did was to set aside her own fears for our sakes.
As a little girl, she watched her own mother almost drown at the beach. After that, both my mom and her mom was terrified of water. Yet, she took us to the beach. She got Daddy to teach us to swim even though he had had polio.
They took us on family beach trips up until 3 years ago.
She didn't let her fear stop her from teaching us to live life.
So what has this go to do with playing in the moonlight?
There are times and places for rules and discipline. Mom made sure we had that.
But then there are times when we need to go back to being a kid. With wide-eyed wonder. For doing the spontaneous.
My son and I stayed out on the beach after the sun had set one night this past May on our vacation. He kept saying, "Mom, take a picture of me spinning." So I'd adjust my camera to the growing darkness and kept on taking action shots of him skim boarding.
The moon rose. Others left the beach. He kept riding his board.
My son looked at the moon and said, "Hey Mom, get a picture of me and my board in the moonlight."
I absolutely love these shots. Why?
Because of wide-eyed wonder and living life fully. My son thought of this picture. He and I were having a blast. Him showing off, me taking his pictures.
It reminded me of my mom. Her excitement over the moon. The waves. The stars.
And her grandson, noticing the same things.
It made me realize that sometimes, we need to leave our routines and schedules, and just go play in the moonlight.
With wide-eyed wonder.
Tweetable: Playing in the Moonlight (click to tweet)
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