Be a Child

My DH and I were talking at dinner the other night about our lives as creative types and differences in the ways we perceive things. As is often the case, our discussion covered a wide range of possibles from the highly sensitive person to the mundanes who don’t understand us to the different modes of perception (he’s visual and I’m verbal). My DH said he thought that neither he nor I had ever lost the ability to be a child.

Children perceive the world differently from adults.   Whether you are a writer, an artist, a laborer or scientist, I think all adults should remember to be a child, at least once in a while.

“All children are artists.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
~ Pablo Picasso

Image of a child drawing on the sidewalk
Safe Places to Play by National Assembly For Wales / Cynulliad Cymru. The picture is licensed under the Creative Commons License. The original photograph is at http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0095009/photos/nationalassemblyforwales/5201569732/

“Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world.  Then artists come along and discover it the same way all over again.” – Eudora Welty

Toddle playing in sand on the beach
By Chris P. Licensed under the Creative Commons License. The original photograph is at http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0092009/photos/chr1sp/255982533

“What are the conditions of the creative attitude,of seeing and responding, of being aware and being sensitive to what one is aware of?  First of all it requires the capacity to be puzzled.
Children still have the capacity to be puzzled.”  — Erich Fromm

By Chut7moi. Creative Commons License. The original photograph is at http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0096009/photos/79094470@N00/3772037546/

“As children, we all live in a world of imagination, of fantasy, and for some of us that world of make-believe
continues into adulthood.”
~ Jim Henson

boy playing in box
By epSos.de. Licensed under the Creative Commons License. The original photograph is at http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0099009/photos/epsos/4886087851/

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”  ~Albert Einstein

Photo of girl open mouthed in awe
By quinn.anya. The picture is licensed under the Creative Commons License. The original photo is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/3704993920/

“Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.” ~William Stafford

Kids at Delridge Daycamp
Photograph provided by Seattle Municipal Archives. The picture is licensed under the Creative Commons License. The original image is at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/2650237874/

“Nurture your minds with great thoughts.  To believe in the heroic makes heroes.”  ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Children don’t have to be told to believe in heroics or heroes.  They live their fantasies.

Photo of Bane and the Boy Wonder
Bane and the Boy Wonder by Digital_Rampage. The picture is licensed under the Creative Commons License. The original photo is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/digital_ramapge/6118703544/

“Like a forgotten fire,
a childhood can always flare up again within us.”
~ Gaston Bachelard

So play, imagine, be curious, see the world with awe through child-like eyes. Believe. Being a child, for just a little while, can change your world.


I’d love to hear from you. Please share. Do you take time to be a child? How does being a child help you as an adult?

21 thoughts on “Be a Child

  1. I completely agree, Lynette. It’s important that we hold on to our inner youth. In fact, I, too, had a post planned on the topic. I’ll hold off for a while. 😉 I love the quotes you found. Together with the pictures they make a beautiful post.

  2. Hi Lynette, I just finished a piece on Frank McCourt, who threw out “Angela’s Ashes” a dozen times until he retired from teaching and listened to his preschool granddaughter tell stories. He realized that he needed to emulate a child’s voice to make his difficult story ring true. The result was a Pulitzer Prize winner, so I’m a believer 🙂 Great piece!

  3. Beautiful quotes and images. Kids have their minds open and they don’t know all the answers yet (even though they might think they do). I love the imaginative answers I get to some of my questions.

    1. Oh, I agree. Children are not only imaginative but innocent. Their innocence adds to the absolute charm of some of their answers. I love listening to them explaining complex things in their simple understanding. Thanks, Reetta.

  4. All I have to say is…watch out for Coleen Patrick when she has scissors in her hand. No telling what she’s up too! LOL! Actually, Coleen has more talent in that area than I do. So more power to her. Just be careful Coleen!

    “…Children still have the capacity to be puzzled.” — Erich Fromm

    I can so relate to that quote Lynette. I walk around puzzled all the time. I guess I’ve never grown up. Never thought that was a good thing. But now I’ll look at it with a completely different understanding. Maybe that is why I enjoy writing. I love to frolic through the meadows of my mind as it germinates new ideas. It excites me.

    Ah yes, to have the mind of a child and the maturity of an adult. That’s almost oxymoronic. But I love it!

    Fun post Lynette! And I love the pics! 🙂

    1. LOL! You’re right, Coleen is very talented with the scissors and glue.

      Yes, I think you’re right. Being puzzled and wandering through thoughts with childish curiosity are the absolutely best thing about being a writer.

      Thanks, dear friend. I cherish your support!

  5. Great quotes and inspiring post. I have to say, I was severely challenged at ‘being a kid’ until I met my husband. Although he was born six years before I was, he has a youth and a willingness to play that I frankly had forgotten. Everyone needs to be silly and playful from time to time, and he helps me remember that. I’ve found he has helped my writing tremendously over the years.

    1. Play is so important. But it can be very difficult to remember that as an adult. We get overwhelmed with things to do, responsibilities, and those dreaded Should-do’s we often forget how to play. Being silly, having fun on a fundamental level (yup, pun intended) is essential to creativity and I believe it’s essential to one’s well being. I’m so glad you found your husband, or he found you. 🙂 Thanks, Serena.

  6. Great quotes 🙂 I’m a very quiet person and an introvert, so if you asked someone like my brother, who’s a boisterous extrovert, he’d say I was never childlike and that I need to relax. The truth is that even though I approach the world more quietly, I’ve never lost the child-likeness. I’m always wanting to touch things to see how they feel. I’m always curious about the “why” behind something. And I definitely have an overactive imagination 🙂

    1. Thanks, Marcy. Quiet definitely doesn’t mean you aren’t child-like. I can relate to being a quiet child, wanting to touch things, and searching out the why. Oh, and I know you have an imagination just from reading your posts.

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