Whimsy.  It’s word that I have not used in my daily diction nearly enough.  I’ve outgrown it, shrugged it off as childish, maybe even irresponsible.   In fact when I looked the word up today, this is the definition that came up: “A Capricious or fanciful idea”.  CAPRICIOUS?  It sounded so negative.  So I looked  up capricious and the synonyms of that word are: fickle, freakish, crotchety.  Wow.   When did “adults” turn Whimsy into such a  pessimistic notion?  I mean, what kid shouldn’t be a little fanciful and freakish?  And what’s wrong with impulsive, erratic behavior or doing things on a “Whim”?  Of course, all children should be a bit careless at times, but maybe us adults could benefit from a little Whimsy in our own lives…

You might say I was feeling very Un-Whimsical last Thursday when Moonshine kept grabbing my hand to take me outdoors.  It was cold, windy, and it would mean I would have to get both of us dressed in hats and boots and mittens.  It just seemed a little absurd and impractical. “Seriously, Moon.  It’s windy outside!”, I said trying to reason with her.  But she wouldn’t take “No” for an answer and there was a tantrum brewing, so I gave in.  But I didn’t even bundle her up, I just took her outside reluctantly and let her explore our terribly dirty back yard.  I cringed  as she dragged her little legs (and some of my favorite leggings) over the dirty flagstone,  held my breath when she picked up rocks and put them in her mouth, and almost had a coronary when she started digging through a filthy pile of leaves in the corner of our yard.  But I was honestly too exhausted to fight her and truth be told, I was bored stuck inside, myself.  So I let go of the rules, let go of the thought of another load of laundry, let go of dirty fingernails and fear of spider bites and just let Ramona explore.  I let her play and be a kid–erratic and irresponsible.

Then the reward…  About 3 minutes into playing in the leaves, Moon discovered that the wind would take them from her hands and scatter them across the sky in a harmonious show of rattle and dance.  She squealed, and giggled holding her hands up in the air and  and quickly learned to wait for the wind, then release,  and then celebrate.  It was beautiful.  Whimsical.  Perfect. I learned another lesson of letting go on Thursday.  I was reminded that these whimsical moments come so naturally to children as they study the world around them.  Everything is magical. Our children can teach us as much as we teach them.

From now on, I’m going to let my daughter teach me to pursue whimsy and magic in my own day to day life.  So that I might once again hold sacred the sight of leaves dancing in the wind, the sound of nature’s “chimes”, and the joy of getting dirty.


Mom - Our children teach us so much! I’m still learning….thanks for the lessons. xo

Heather - Julie! I absolutely LOVE this post. As adults and as a former elementary teacher, I was raised to believe that kids learn from adults. Now I can honestly say that as a mother who home schools, one of my greatest joys has been the mindset shift from teaching kids to letting the kids teach me. Somedays I honestly question who is learning more in life, me or them. I love to watch them ask a question on their own, research it on their own, have their lightbulb moment and then come and explain it all to me (most of the time I honestly have never had that same thought/question or couldn’t answer the question anyway!). I love to watch them learn because it makes me a constant learner and I CRAVE having realizations and having my own eyes constantly opened to the world through their eyes. I love the absolute purity and honesty that comes when kids take the reigns into their own hands because we TRUST them to figure things out on their own and we actually DESIRE for them to discover and explore. The sense of self confidence and accomplishment when they truly learn on their own is incomparable to what we can ever impose upon them. You are realizing this at such a young, impressionable age for little Moon and I think you are on the path of the most amazing parenting journey ever. Love you guys!

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