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Second Childhood

I thought being a parent would age me, but the opposite happened. Through my own children, I'm reeducated about the intrinsic value of play. My heart flips in my chest. I embrace my inner mischief. I laugh. I'm giddy! Being silly is a goal, not a waste of time. There's a rejuvenation of innocence.

The details observed by children awaken a lost way of thinking, a simpler way of thinking. Seeing the world anew is possible through bright eyes and brains that saturate surroundings like sponges. Colors and shapes are noticed above all else.

The waxy clay, aldehydic fragrance of crayons ignites imagination. Clouds might be colored pink or purple. The sky isn't always blue, and grass isn't always green. Sometimes they're indigo. Sometimes they're covered in glitter with glue. Other times they're made of cotton candy. Coloring book lines are often ignored, and pages are consumed by stickers.

Shapes matter. Dinosaur chicken nuggets are so much tastier than regular ones. Twisty straws have mystical properties that make juice more flavorful.

Old cartoons are renewed obsessions.

Yesterday's games bring fun today.

Dusty toys breathe new life.

Memories are stories.

Cardboard boxes are vessels of exploration for vast new worlds, uncharted territories, and other realms; The 4th, 5th, and 6th dimensions. Oh and, of course, the floor is piping red-hot, molten lava!

Enchanting again is the warm scent of fresh baked cookies, the taste of wintry air like refreshing arctic mint, the countdown to Christmas morning.

Magic is real.

Happiness derives from the children you love and their vibrant expressions of mirth. Their smiles. Their laughs. Their vocalized glee.

Suddenly whatever they enjoy, you enjoy too. Parenthood is an opportunity to reexperience life's beginnings vicariously through them. Parenthood is a renewal of life. It's a reawakening.

Parenthood is the second childhood.




S.J. Walker is Senior Editor for Grande Dame Literary Journal, a published author, and hard-working mother of two little ones. Sleepless by night, coffee enthusiast by day. She graduated summa cum laude with her B.A. in Psychology. You can find more work by S.J. Walker on her author Facebook page:


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