My maternal grandparents have a carpeted staircase just upon entering their home. It has blue carpet. Whether it be 30 years ago or just a month ago, there is something about that staircase that serves as a magnet for children.
Many weekend nights of my childhood were spent on those stairs playing with a slinky or a deck of cards and my cousins. Sometimes when we didn’t have games or toys with us we would just go to the very top of the stairs and scoot down them one at a time on our behinds. In fact, I’m not sure how the carpet hasn’t been replaced at least a dozen times with all the butts that have slid down those stairs. First me, my brother, and my cousins and now our children.
Sometime around adolescence it became socially unacceptable to scoot down stairs on your behind. My youngest son, D, is still at the age where it is not only expected but it is encouraged to scoot down steps on your behind. Toddlers aren’t known for their great balancing skills, after all.
Today we went to a Wake Forest baseball game. We try to sit on the extreme side of the stands where there are bleachers and few spectators. That allows D to run around without bothering anyone. One of his favorite things to do is go up and down the stands. Of course, that means I am also going up and down the stands to follow him like a lost puppy. (Who needs aerobics when you have a toddler?)
After chasing him up the stairs for the 3,817 time I had to find a way to coax him back down the stands AND save the wear and tear on my knees. You guessed it. I scooted down the stands with D. He and I sat side by side on the stairs and raced down on our behinds. He laughed at the sight of me doing something so uncharacteristic for an adult. The handful of adults in the section laughed at us, too.
I’m sure it was a sight to see this middle aged woman scooting down this immense row of stairs from top to bottom stopping occasionally to sweep her hands clean from rocks and sunflower seed shells (think about that next time you spit them out of your mouth onto the ground….yuck!) Within just a few steps it was like a return to childhood. D and I were cackling and racing. In fact, when we got to the bottom, we went back to the top of the stands just so we could scoot down again.
It’s amazing how something so seemingly small and insignificant from childhood can totally change one’s mood. I also think how I might have been convinced not to do this if I were surrounded by lots of people who would see me rather than just the five or so in my section. It occurred to me how often we miss out on what could be real fun just because we think other’s will view us as childish or silly. As if being child-like is a bad thing….