“Dad!” The little girl yelled. “Will come and play hide and seek with me?” She ran towards her dad and stopped right in front of him. Waiting for him to put down the paper. She didn’t get a response. “Dad?” She asked again.
“I don’t want to. Go on and find some friends to play with. Don’t you have any new friends around here?” Her dad said. They were on a holiday. Visiting the beautiful country of Italy. Although the girl had made loads of friends, all around the campsite, she now wanted to play with her dad.
The girl stayed. Just looking at her dad. “Why aren’t you going away?” Her dad had a grumpy voice. For a small second, he puts down the paper, looks at the girl, and then continues to read. “Daddy? Can I read the paper with you?” The little girl asks.
“No you can’t this is grown-up stuff. Besides you won’t like it either.” Her dad replied stubbornly. The girl was sad. “Do you like reading the paper dad?” She asked.
“No I don’t, but it keeps me up to date with the world, which is important. Now leave me alone. I want to read.” Her dad said. The girl didn’t care. “But dad why would you read the newspaper if you don’t even like reading it?” She asked. Her dad sighs. The girl knew he wanted her to leave. “Dad?” She asked one final time. “Why would you do anything that you don’t like doing?” The little girl asked.
Anyone’s heart would have melted seeing the effort that this little girl put into this. Trying to get her dad to play hide and seek was hard work for the little girl.
The Compassion of a Child
Again her dad didn’t answer her question. “Daddy, aren’t we on a holiday together? And should we do fun things?” She for the final time asked. “Yes, you should go and do fun stuff. Go play with your little friends and let daddy read his newspaper, maybe we’ll play hide and seek this afternoon. When I am done reading the paper.” He said.
The girl turns around and walks away. Her head hanging low, but quickly she runs off and starts playing with a ball. She forgot all about what happened. Just like any child would never let any time be wasted by holding onto anger or sadness. She does keep an eye on her dad, after all, when he was done reading his silly newspaper they would play hide and seek together.
With one eye fixed on her dad, and the other fixed on playing with the ball the girl enjoys her young life for a while. But then her dad folds the newspaper away. The little girl rushes towards him. “Can we go play now?” She eagerly asks. “No.” Her dad says. He is still grumpy. The girl looks at the ground and audibly starts sobbing.
“Dad, why are you so mad, and grumpy? I thought we were going to have fun on our holiday together. But all you do is read that stupid paper of yours, which you don’t even like reading.” The girl said, stamping her feet on the ground.
“Don’t worry about me. Just go and play by yourself, you like that too right?” Her dad says. “Yes, I do.” The little girl answers. “But I want to play with you now, I am done playing alone.” The little girl looks at her dad and sees that he looks sad. She quickly wipes away her tears and jumps on her dad’s lap.
“Daddy is everything alright?” She asks. “I would love to play hide and seek with you, but if you’re not feeling well that’s okay. I will just sit here with you, that’s fine as well.” And she gives him a big hug.
What We Forget When We Grow Older
The girl feels her dad’s chest moving up and down quickly. His breathing is shallow and jerky. She looks at him and sees tears rolling down his face. “What’s wrong dad? Did I say anything wrong?” The little girl asks, hugging him even tighter.
“You didn’t. You asked just the right question, my dear.,” Her dads’ voice had changed. It was soft and comforting now. “Why are you crying then daddy?” The little girl asks.
“Because you just did the sweetest thing for me.” He said and looked the little girl in her eyes and smiled. “You did just what I didn’t do, you were patient with me, and accepted the way I felt.” Her dad said.
You were feeling sad, and sometimes we just need to feel sad.
“But daddy, it’s okay that you weren’t nice to me. You were feeling sad, and sometimes we just need to feel sad. It’s all okay.” The little girl said. She still had the honesty of a child. “But dad, if you are feeling sad, why would you do something you don’t like?” The girl asked.
“Well, that’s a really good question, my dear. I don’t know, really.” Her dad answers. “Dad,” the girl began. “Will I read and do things I don’t like when I grow older as well?” She asks. “I hope you don’t.” Her dad answers.
“I hope you will not be as silly as I am. Placing a newspaper over a great game of hide and seek with my little girl. The older we get the more we forget that life is really to be enjoyed. It’s a waste that we do this. Reading papers ‘because we have to keep up with the world’” her dad says and starts laughing. “I think that’s the stupidest thing one can do with his time on earth. To do the things he doesn’t like, just because others told him it’s a good thing to do.”
The older we get the more we forget that life is really to be enjoyed.
“It’s like you telling me to go and play with friends, isn’t it dad? You told me to go and play with friends but I didn’t want to. So I didn’t.” The little girl interrupted. “You’re right. It’s exactly like that. I think I forgot how enjoyable life is as a child, and how easy it is to just nourish that again. Enjoying life again like a young child. So…” He grabs the little girl around her waist and puts her down on the ground. He gets up and runs off. “Close your eyes, and count to 10!” He screams to the girl.
The girl jumps in the air from excitement and starts counting. The girl did it, she showed her father to always nourish his inner child.
I think that’s the stupidest thing one can do with his time on earth. To do the things he doesn’t like, just because others told him it’s a good thing to do.
To be honest with you I forget to nourish my inner child a lot of the time. It’s so easy to get lost in the insanity of today’s world. Thinking that we have to keep up with the news, work harder, achieve things, and be successful. A lot of today’s world is focused on work and success. Not enjoyment and love.
I think this story of the little girl and her dad is common nowadays. Of parents thinking that they need to act like a grown-up, when deep inside they know the insanity of it. We might forget that life is to be enjoyed. We might forget to be childish, and enjoy the small things. But one way or another we will be reminded to nourish our inner child.
And it is as simple as the little girl showed us. To simply ask ourselves why we are sad, to be kind to ourselves, to be loving and compassionate. Just like the little girl hugged her dad, and told him that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.
The natural power of the child within isn’t to be rigid, and dull. It is to be lively and open. To feel alive, to feel the sadness when it arises, to feel the joy of doing exciting things, to feel. It might just be that that is how we nourish our inner child. How we embrace this life we have been gifted to live.
Have a little fun, do things you enjoy, and most certainly don’t take life seriously. Never grow up, never become a rigid and pale human being. This life is all a big game we play. And the one thing that connects those who play a game is their enjoyment of it. So shouldn’t we begin to embrace our inner child, and start to enjoy the game we play that’s called life? For today we live and now is our chance to fall in love with it.