When’s the last time you did something just for fun?
When was the last time you did something just for fun?
“Higher, higher, higher!”
You know where I am.
“Higher Mummy, swing higher!”
But who’s on the swing?
“Wow Mummy, you’re going to touch the sky!”
Oh yes. It was me. I was in the park with just the big one for a change and I sat on a swing just to rest my legs for a minute. Rocked it a little and thought, sod it. I’ve forgotten what it feels like.
Two minutes later, my heart was in my mouth but I had the biggest smile on my face as I pushed my legs out, and whipped them back just like I used to do with my big bro at the bottom of the garden. With no one egging me on to jump off, that is.
“Mummy can you come and play with me now?” he calls, the novelty of watching a crazy grown-up on a swing worn off.
“Not yet!” I yell.
I’ve got all these thoughts flying through my head.
- I should get off now, I probably look like a loon.
- Is it wrong that this feels so exciting?
- I’m not sure these swings are designed to take my weight, actually. Eeeek!
- I’m actually a tad scared how high I’m going.
- Ummm, I should get off and do a bit of actual parenting now.
- But when was the last time I felt this free and exhilarated?
- More to the point, when was the last time I did something just for the hell of it?
And that’s just it, isn’t it? Children do things all day just for fun. Jump and dance. Play with toys. Colour something in. Run around the park. They have no agenda, no reason for doing these things, other than the entertainment factor.
What age does that stop? Is it when homework and deadlines and other life pressures creep into the timetable? Even then, I know teenagers, and perhaps even young adults still do things without too much thinking for pure fun – alongside those annoying tasks we actually have to do as we get older.
Being a parent, or a grown-up with responsibilities inevitably means planning and thinking, even if we still do nice stuff. We’re on a nice family walk – “oh let’s just collect some things on the way for that school project”. Clothes shopping, supposedly for ourselves – “let’s browse the baby section as I’m sure the little one is out of vests. Oh and I must go to the bank while I’m out”. Watching a series with the husband after dinner, “Argh, I’ve got to do the online shop tonight or I’ll miss the good slot.”
Let’s bring back pure, sod it joy as a grown-up. Rolling down a hill and forget the grass stains. Watching a favourite film under the duvet despite all the jobs that need doing. Being late for something not-time-important because we all stopped to eat ice cream or chuck Autumn leaves in the air.
Someone talk me down from this swing, I’m pretty sure it’s creaking more than it did earlier.
The leaf thing. Just for fun.
Featured image credit: Shutterstock / davewright321