I have a horrible memory. I've come to the conclusion that it's not because of some traumatic event, or injury, or boredom as a child, or anything like that. It's simply that I lived a large part of my childhood in another world. The world of imagination, where reality and creativity infuse to create a world only a child can explore fully.
My days were spent in a vacant lot with a small stream running through it, this was my "Bridge to Tarabithia". The old, over grown field with the abandoned barn stuffed full of ancient treasures, this was my "Temple of Doom". Childhood is filled with dreams and made up stories, Big Fish Tales so to speak. So I apologize if my stories of childhood seem a bit unbelievable and exaggerated. They are all truths, my truths, my childhood "realities" and exploratories.
Children go places most adults cringe at. Murky mud holes, bug infested dens, these are the places unknown by most people. Where the children get to make the stories and descriptions of their surroundings. Although they spent a better part of the boat ride home picking off leeches, they were ecstatic about their adventures and captures.
The not so ideal weather didn't seem to bother them either. I, on the other hand, was freezing. This just added to the mood and mysteriousness for them. One more thing to highlight and remember about their amazing two hours of play.
Our children are experts at seeing the extraordinary in the everyday ordinary. Watch them for an hour or so. Noticed what drawls them in, the things that grab their attention, get them excited. It's always a fun game, for me, to watch and try to imagine what it is they see.
I am an adventurer at heart. My husband and I even whisked away to live in Alaska for a few years having never really been there. They were the best 2+ years of my life. It was as if after years of loosing my adventuresome spirit to textbooks and classrooms, I was rushed back into being a child again. Only this time the world was smaller more connected.
New places you explore as a child are whole other worlds. A land unto itself. City blocks are massive mazes, filled with unknown animals and objects. A sewer tunnel is a gateway to an other reality.
In the end, when it's time to return home, a child has a sense of accomplishment. Maybe it's because of the treasures they bare from their adventures, maybe it's the idea that they have marked a new place in the world, maybe it's a feeling of "I did". What ever it may be, may they hold on to it for the entirety of their lives. May they always feel a draw to do something new, go to places they have never been, feel a bit of wanderlust.
So go out there. Explore and be adventurous. Let your littles play, get dirty and imagine. Go out there and be, do, and become. Live, laugh, and love childhood.