Ever see a kid who scans the stands at a game they are playing to see if their parents are there? how about kids peeking behind the curtain at a school play to see if their parents are in the seats? parents day and you had a kid introduce their folks to your class? did you ever look into most kids eyes and the joy and happiness that their folks took the time to show up for a special moment in their lives? they aren’t old enough to do the happy dance yet, so they do something called the “happy hop,” and jump around a bit.
there is an interesting phenomenon in life where parents spend a few moments coming down to the kids level for a moment. these will probably always be the moments that kids will cherish and remember. I never had any kids, but I get a taste of it, particularly with my nephews with someone says, “they like you better than me!”
“it is because I simply take the time to play with them. that's all. everyone else is too busy being adult to come down to their level for 15 minutes and run the risk of looking foolish or silly.”
there is a time and a balance of all things. but if you give a young kid some time and attention, I do believe they will remember it and have a better construct of life as they get older. today, I wonder if it is the kids raising the parents? the other day I walked into a diner to get some coffee and had to stop as I saw a table with three grown adults and one child and a complete mess of food under the table. I asked the host, “excuse me, sir, is that normal?”
he replied, “I thought the idea was for the food to go inside the body all this time, but yes, I have no idea what the adults were thinking, much less somehow think the kids behavior and throwing his food was normal.”
I digress, but the hoppy dance, is when a kid is genuinely thrilled or happy and they don’t know how to really dance, but they start bouncing around like a ball, “boing, boing, boing!” and they usually have a giant smile on their face that is infectious and can make even the hardest-hearted crack open a little bit and smile on their inside. The happy hop with kids reminds me of someone replacing the kid's fructose laden drink in their sippy cup with some form of nitro-methane sugar.
as you grow older, coordination skills and control over your body will lead you to a place where the “happy hop” evolves into the “happy dance." you don't see it much as we age, as adults have some ideal that being "grown-up" means you drink the requisite cocktails, play dress up and go to functions where many do everything in thier power not to run the risk of doing any faux pas, but enjoying the downfall of others. it all gets really old, really fast...dare is say it is a bit dull? how many different ways can you decorate the same table and pretend to call it fresh?
after a while you have to ask, "certainly, everyone else can see the game being played, no?" until you stop playing, I don't think you realize at times how deep you are in the game.
don’t ever lose the ability to dance as if no one is watching. as we age, I see a lot more hardened hearts in the world. we need more happy hops and happy dancing in the world. we have enough hardened and/or wounded/broken hearts/families/parents.