Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Forever a Child by Jenna Vick Silliman

If heaven was giving out awards, I think I would be in the running for winning the award for “Biggest Kid”. After all, I’m five feet eight inches tall—that is a pretty big kid! Some of my best friends are children. I don’t have very many peers that like to goof off as much as I do—they are probably embarrassed to be seen with me! I like to load up my car with kids and go to the beach, go swim at the pool, go folk dancing, or go to the park. I turn the radio up nice and loud and sing at the top of my vocal capacity. I don’t wanna get a speeding ticket, but I really like to drive fast. What I do is “hug the turns” whenever possible and as fast as possible. It is so fun to make the kids squeal! As a result of hanging out with kids a lot, I get invited to their birthday parties. My favorite one so far was Angelina’s princess party. I am pictured here, dressed as a princess, surrounded by my little friends. I told you I was the biggest kid!
One way I am childlike is that I like to have fun. If you ask me what one of my goals is, I will probably say, “To have fun!” To be funloving is a character quality I admire and hope to develop more and more. I like to goof off with kids because they really know how to have fun. When they go to the beach or the park, kids don’t think about their list of things to do or how much money they have in the bank or about their next appointment—they just have fun. My youngest child, Peter, and his friend, Michel and I went shopping one day and I was having a good time with them skipping in the parking lot, telling jokes, and looking at stuff to buy. Michel paid me a high compliment that day. He said, “You know Jenna, you are more like a kid than a mom!” I said, “THANK YOU VERY MUCH!”
I like to make people laugh. Laughing is SO fun and it is contagious too. One of my favorite scenes from a Disney movie is the one in Mary Poppins where they all start singing “I love to laugh—hahaha!” and they all float up to the ceiling. Wouldn’t that be fun?! Children laugh on an average of 400 times per day! Adults laugh like about 15 times a day. Whew--what a difference! I think I’d rather be a kid, wouldn’t you? If you listen carefully, children call adults “dolts”. So that’s what I’ve started calling them too. Hahaha! I’d rather be a kid than a dolt!
Another way I’m like a kid, is I love to sing silly songs. It is common for me to break out in song and the silly ones are my favorites. (With a last name of Silliman, I can’t be too serious, now can I?) For some examples, you might know this song: “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly…I don’t know why she swallowed a fly; I guess she’ll die!” Do you know this one? “I had a little sister; her name was sister Sue, we put her in the bathtub to see what she would do. She drank up all the water, she ate a bar of soap, she tried to eat the bathtub, but it wouldn’t fit down her throat!” Here’s another favorite: “If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a rain it would be! I’d stand outside with my mouth open wide, singin’ ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah!”
Don’t you love the way children are full of wonder and amazement at the world? They chase butterflies, blow dandelion seeds and watch them float on the air, and they love to run and jump and dance around. I love to go swimming with kids and play games in the water. That’s a blast. I like the way kids will get enthusiastic about things too. Why do we have to be so dang reserved all the time? To be childlike is to be more trusting and loving and spontaneous and honest. I teach a children’s dance class and my students never cease to amaze me at how loving they are. They run over and hug me and tell me they love me. They skip and frolic around with carefree abandon. I want to be more like that. Yesterday one little girl told me, “I like your colorful blouse, but I don’t think it matches your twirly skirt very well.” Hahaha! That made me laugh! Kids are so honest. They tell you when they like something and when they don’t.
When I was a girl I was often scolded for daydreaming. My hands would slow down at the task at hand—such as washing dishes, folding laundry, or doing a math assignment. Instead I would stare off into the distance, lost in my dream world. I wrote creative stories about make believe lands and enjoyed reading and daydreaming about what it would be like to be one of the characters in the book. Even now, at age 54, I like to dream. You’d think I would have grown out of it by now, wouldn’t you? No, I like to dream about all the possibilities in life, such as where I’d like to travel and what I’d like to do. The Bible says, “Nothing is impossible with God.” We have an unlimited God and so we need not limit ourselves or our lives either.
As long as I am faithful and responsible and dependable and all those grown-up things, I don’t see anything wrong with being like a kid. In fact, the Lord Jesus said, “Be as a little child to enter My kingdom.” Now I have a new dream. I can picture the Lord saying, “Here’s your award, Princess Jenna.” Jesus walks towards me in a trailing purple robe and in His hands is a golden crown all sparkling with diamonds and jewels of different colors and He places it upon my head and says, “Good job on being childlike! Well done—you have entered into My joy everlasting!”


Linda Maynard said...

Hi Jenna...
I could relate to so much of what you said about being childlike.
I think you "go for it" with more abandon that I do, but I definitely have experienced similar thinking and experiences. Hmmm. I just thought maybe I am 50% childlike?, I think it would be more like 72% childlike. Yea...that sounds about right.
I enjoyed reading your blog and I was "right there with you" in your experiences and exuberance. And I am not just KIDding.
PS Before I read your blog, I did pay attention to your last name and I was like...that is so funny!

Doug Spurling said...

"Unless you change and become like one of these little ones you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Well done Jenna. We spend the winter with "kids" most all are retired and can do anything they want. What do they choose? What's their greatest joy? To play and love and be with family and friends -- just like kids. Rich & poor & war heros and computer makes no difference--they just love like a child. Such wisdom.

Kerry Luddy said...

You made me laugh out loud! Great post.