Musings, New Zealand, Photography

Childhood’s Weirdness and Wonderment

I am not sure about you. I admittedly did some weird stuff as a child and wondered why I am not embracing those laughable fun moments more often, apart from the obvious social restrictions of being over ten years old. I think I should.

Most weird moments started with adults and their suitably strange superstitions.

Picture this; a middle-aged child jumping on one leg, head tilted, hoping something would fall out of her ear. The reasoning behind this exercise was to remove the pip I swallowed. A burst of bellowing laughter followed the comment, “You swallowed a pip, and now a tree will grow from your ear” the laughter should’ve been a hint that statement was not to be taken literally. There lies a big gap between children and adults.

Various degrees of gullibility.

Then there is the stuff I should be encouraging more from my inner child, and that’s the sense of wonderment. Something to be nurtured until we are no longer above ground. Have you ever seen a child’s reaction to finding treasures on the beach? It is as close to unbridled delight as it’s possible to get. Children are in tune with the natural world around them in a way that we adults aren’t. Before the complexities and trivialities of life fill their heads, they see the world as it is: full of wonder.

In this simple yet profound way, we as children are far more competent at that than we are as adults.

Wonderment with Nieces

Sand monsters can be a reality if you wish them to be.
Treasure hunting at dusk and when the sun has disappeared.
Strange findings on the beach

The nieces in the above photos have reached their teenage years and beyond; I hope they never lose their ability to always find wonderment in their lives going forward.

29 thoughts on “Childhood’s Weirdness and Wonderment”

  1. What a lovely post, Suzanne, and I agree with every word. But I worry today, that the sense of wonderment we had and that is still observable in some children, is not being enjoyed by the majority who seem to spend whole days engrossed in their screens and their TikTok accounts. The delight in reading, discovering mysterious worlds, creating a world of one’s own, few seem to be able to access these today. I have one set of great-nieces who are well into books and reading and whose screen-time is almost nil (and no phones allowed) and another set where they are old before their time, at 8 years old into fashion and instagramable live-styles. I despair.

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    1. There’s no easy way to tackle today’s children’s online presence, and it’s pitfalls, as every parent has their unique way of handling it. At the end of the day, a parent’s role is to make their child’s entrance into their world an easier transition. Teaching them resilience as well as people skills amongst many other survival skills. I would rather see a teenager or younger test their boundaries before getting behind a steering wheel or computer screen. Phones are part of our society now; it’s all about making boundaries to suit the individual child. Again, as a woman [me] with no children, it’s easy to sit back and observe with a critical eye ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Wonderful sentiments, Suzanne. I admit to still being a bit more childish (in a good way) sometimes. Mostly when it comes to being delighted with the smallest things, like discoveries or comfort. It causes a snicker within the adults around me, but thatโ€™s not a bad thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Tracy; they were fun days. Some days my inner child needs to stay hidden when she is feeling rebellious and when I haven’t the energy to deal with the aftermath ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. I agree with the point made by Jo above – I think we can work at rediscovering that sense of wonderment as we get older. Maybe it’s the sense of time now being limited that focuses our minds on the delights of today?

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  4. Lovely memories and wonderment Suz. We took our almost 4 year old granddaughter out today and her pure delight at collecting sticks, smelling eucalyptus leaves and riding her scooter on the ‘bumpy’ road had me smiling all afternoon. Children do have the ability to see and do things differently and as we get older sometimes it comes back to us!

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  5. Sometimes I wish I could still run my tongue without a filter – to be able to say just about anything that pops into my head. Instead a sharply spoken voice in my head tells me โ€œYou canโ€™t say that!โ€™

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    1. You could say during many family occasions, I’m the sister without a filter ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m with you it would certainly be more entertaining to do so. I love the honesty aspect of children’s conversations. As a society we have perhaps become too politically correct.

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  6. I think it’s something you can lose in those middle, ‘busy’ years of your life, Suzanne, but thankfully it seems to come back in later life with a bit more time on your hands. And yes- we were told some very silly things as kids!

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