The love from a toddler is much the same as that of a puppy- unadulterated, uncalculated, in its purest pristine form. Their hugs and smiles have yet to be corrupted and (hopefully) come with no ulterior motives (minus the occasional affection-for-a-cookie barter). When a child says “I love you,” it is honest. It is said with no holds barred, worry-free of your choice to repeat those the three words in return (but, how could you not?!).
Children are pint sized Buddhas housing the keys to happiness; each offers a world of simple lessons that we all at one point knew ourselves, but had slowly let go of as life grew less simple with every passing year. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a close friend’s five year old daughter who has taught me a lesson more important than any I could have ever learned in a classroom.
Her laugh is happiness personified and the broadness of her smile trumps that of the Cheshire cat. I envy that her bouncy up and down jumping that never fails to accompany her excitement is socially acceptable, as I would probably attract some odd glances if I did the same. She is a human exclamation point, having yet to learn to hold back her emotions or scale back her level of energy and her aura glows with radiant positivity. She wants for nothing except the occasional toy to add to a never-ending collection and the pureness of her heart automatically attracts love from every life she touches. If only the essence of this five year old could be bottled and mass distributed, world peace could finally be achieved.
When is it that the amount of laughter and smiles in our day becomes overshadowed by stressful brow-furrowing and concerned frowns? When in our lives do tears stream down our faces only from sadness and no longer from uncontainable joy? How sad it is that we must stifle our emotions in favor or socially acceptable behavior!
I am not suggesting that adults behave exactly like toddlers- unfortunately, that may land one in an asylum of some sort. What I do suggest is that we all reignite that dying flame of pure happiness and love within usthat had shone so brightly when we were children, but had been slowly burning out over the years. It may not be appropriate to physically jump up and down for joy over every last thing, but we can allow ourselves to feel the same happiness and express it in a tamer way. Letting someone that is truly dear to us know we love them should never be a point of hesitation because, honestly, who doesn’t have room for just a little more love?
Even though life does get more complicated by responsibilities and hardship,the simplicities of life still remain. The fountain of youth IS the essence of our own youths we’ve suppressed as time has passed. The child within is the love, happiness, excitement, and exuberance within us all. The most valuable lessons are often not found in textbooks or lectures. Recently, my most cherished lesson has come from a bright-eyed, highly-animated, curly blonde haired five year old that melted my heart to a puddle on the floor as she threw her arms around me and said “I love you.”