09/28/2015 10:46 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Childhood, the Best Teacher of Life


As little kids, when we got an idea we'd get all excited and would naturally, without thinking, share it with our friends. There was no fear of rejection or that our idea wasn't good enough or that they'd steal it or laugh at us.

We wanted everyone to be involved and to have fun.

And being a friend, when you were a little kid, meant that you would just chime in and say things like "yea, let's go do it" or "awww, that's gross" and you meant it with all of your heart!

Most of the times we would turn an idea into an adventure.

We'd do it together, without a second thought, and we'd have fun doing it.

What awesome adventures we had, what awesome memories we created!

And if an idea wasn't one that we decided we wanted to go ahead with, no one was teased or left out or looked at funny or laughed at, well not for long anyway, we just moved on to the next one.

We never really stopped to think about too much...

We stepped outside of our comfort zones excitedly almost on a daily basis.

We never really thought about the outcome or all the intricate details, or what anyone would think or how anyone would feel, all we knew was that we were going to do it and having fun and adventure was the only intention.

However, and yes there is always a but or a however, if the idea was huge, as in, it meant that it was going to be a bit risqué, i.e., we could get into lots of trouble by our parents or, we had to cross a main road or cut through Mrs. Canteroupo's (totally made up name, by the way) backyard (which she detested) then we would stop and think of ways to make it happen without getting in trouble or getting run over or getting chased by Mrs. Canteroupo...

You see we had this can-do attitude.

We were naturally positive.

We had spirit.

We did things because we wanted to.

We were considered and considerate.

Yes, even when we broke the rules by running through Mrs. Canteroupo's backyard, we made sure that we never trampled on her veggie patch or flowers...

We were quick thinkers.

We brainstormed ways to make things happen and overcame any hurdles and naturally used our instinct and intuition.

And, we did it together.

The togetherness and camaraderie between us little kids was real, it wasn't forced, it was natural.

We shared everything together. Our highs, our adventures and our lows.

We naturally laughed together and at each other, and it was okay... we didn't take things so seriously (well not for long anyway), what you saw was what you got and we moved on.

All the kids in the neighborhood would hang out together, it didn't matter if you were black, white, or if you were fat or skinny, had red hair and freckles or wore glasses, if you were fast or slow, sensitive or not, everyone was included, we were all one.

We just wanted to have fun and play and the more of us there was, the merrier and more adventurous it was.

The more of us there were, the bigger and better the adventures!

There wasn't much bitchiness amongst us -- and if there was, it was nipped in the bud pretty quickly. Just amongst us, no one else got involved, definitely not our parents. We'd sort it out then and there.

And competitiveness, yes there was some natural and healthy competing between us. We'd run like the clackers to see who would get to the shop first, or who could ride their bike the fastest to our secret cubby house, or who's swap card and peg conglomeration on our bike spoke made the loudest noise... there wasn't any sulking or walking on eggshells if someone won all of the time... nobody felt left out or lesser than the other. We just did what we wanted to do. If someone was a faster runner than the others, and always beat us, we would gleefully marvel and acknowledge those talents, and just get on with having fun, and trying harder next time!

As kids we would get excited to the core about each others ideas and stories and, for just being ourselves.

We'd genuinely and with enthusiasm brainstorm and create ways to make things more fun.

We used our imaginations to make up and tell stories to each other, our stories were shared and each of us could add to it, there was no talk of ownership or one talking more than the other, we just all took turns when we intuitively knew it was our turn.

And even in all of that excitement of our adventures, story telling and having fun, if one of us fell, the rest of us would stop, check that it wasn't life threatening and when the coast was clear, we'd keep playing until it got dark.

Back then, life was so easy.

We weren't governed by time or deadlines.

Our parents never told us things that didn't concern us, you see we were just kids and that was all we had to do.

We saw things changing around us and within each other's homes.

My best friend's parents split up in 1979, back then no one's parents divorced. The only discussion we ever had about it was:

My friend: "My mom and dad aren't going to live together anymore..."
My response: "Oh, where are you going to live?"
Her response: "At home with Mom."

And that was the end of that.

And Life pretty much went on as usual.

As little kids back then, even though we saw things, the adults never told us anything or discussed adult matters in front of us, and we were ok with that. We weren't really interested, our job was to go to school or, if it was the holidays or the weekend, to play outside and go on adventures with our friends.

As little kids, when a new kid would come along, we got excited. We would invite them to play and learn all about them and their adventures and how they did things, we'd share our stories and ideas and then we'd all go off and play, together.

As little kids sometimes someone would chuck a tanty or not play nicely or say something mean, and the rest of us would pull that person up, quickly but nicely and matter of factly...

We'd ask, "hey what's with you today?" Or, "that wasn't nice," and if that happened, you kind of knew that it was probably best to go home and rest or play alone... and that was okay because as little kids, playing alone was fun too.

Laying on the ground outside building little fairy gardens or villages out of grass, leaves, sticks and stones or eating clover was an adventure in itself!

None of us worried about anything really, we knew that when we got hungry we would be fed, if we fell over, we would get up and be okay and if it got dark we had to go home... we marveled in the simple things in life, they were the big things for us.

And as adults we seem to lose all of that, we either go in pursuit of bigger and better things, or we live inside our heads, thinking all of the time, worried about what others may think, too scared to take a wrong step, forgetting all about having fun and surrendering.

But in the end, life has a funny way of teaching us that the something bigger and better is in all of those small, simple and wondrous things that we naturally did and loved as kids.

What adventures have you been on lately?