Taking a deep breath and almost curling my toes, I pushed the ball away from my fingertips and prayed that it would slip through the goal net.
Holding onto that same breath, I finally realized a sigh when the ball slipped through the netting in an intense game of Horse. My arms instantly reached upwards as I shouted in victory. My opponents dropped their heads in defeat while my supporters exchanged pats on the back and shared enthusiasm.
Not bad for a 38-year-old.
It may have seemed like I was recalling a moment from my childhood. But this impromptu basketball game took place last night in my living room with a goal hanging from a bedroom door, surrounded by my three children.
The night was like any other night. Homework was completed. Test notes were studied over. Supper was served. Pajamas were laid out. And a few minutes before bed time called for a sudden game of Horse between my kids.
The sounds of the plastic ball hitting the walls, the running of feet across the wood floor, the grunts of disappointment, the shrieks of joy and the laughter of my three kids echoed through the house. Sitting in my recliner, I couldn’t take it any longer. I had to get up and join in their excitement.
I am sure we were a sight to see. I was just complaining about how my knee hurt, yet I was crouching behind the couch to attempt a few trick shots. My oldest son James was trying his best to rack up my score. My daughter Elsie was jumping for the roof with every shot she made. And when my youngest son Jase made an almost impossible shot for his stature, I lifted him up in the air with a grin on his face from ear to ear.
It was a good end to a good day.
And I think it was because I took a time-out from being an adult and just acted like a kid again. And it was the perfect medicine for that sore knee and tired spirit. Maybe that’s what causes the worries and stress as an adult. We forget what it is like to be a kid. We grow up.
Of course, there are those lists of things we have to do as adults in order to survive; work, pay bills, tend to your home and so forth. But taking a break just to play a game of Horse with my kids reminded me that sometimes you just have to laugh out loud, play the game, be childlike and use your imagination.
Being childlike is possible without being childish.
There is a difference. We, as adults, should take to a kid’s outlook on life sometimes. Who cares what everyone else is buying, spending or doing? Be happy with the simple things around you whether it be that living room game or an ice cream cone. It’s those simple pleasures that are worth soaking in. You will find that you can be pretty happy with whatever life brings you, even if it doesn’t seem like that much at the time.
I went to bed last night with a smile on my face. My kids were happy to have played with me, and they went to bed happy too.
As my kids and I dozed off to sleep, our throats were sore from shouting. Our legs were a bit sore from jumping. Our hands were stinging from high-fives. But the one muscle overworked the most was our imaginations. And that is the one that keeps you on your toes.