Embracing the child within us all

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015

For the most part, I’m a serious person. Don’t get me wrong, I also love to laugh, have fun and interject my sarcastic humor when possible.
During a regular day as a preschool teacher, you would often find me dancing with the children and singing silly songs while also trying to be as stern as I could.
One child in particular challenged my ability to be stern. I’ve known her since before she was 1 and she’s the one that bestowed upon me the nickname Cass Cass. Which, even though she is now 7, she is not allowed to call me anything else.
Even now, when I see some of my former pupils, the name Cass Cass can be heard across a crowded store.
This particular little girl is full of spunk, sass and sweetness when she wants to be. She is smart, full of life and a great little dancer.
We became quick best friends, as she picked up on my ability to be a pushover pretty early on in our relationship.
She was the flower girl in my wedding, but thought herself the bride many times. While shoe shopping for the occasion, she threw a shoe at me and told me we could do things the easy way or the mean way.
In the classroom she could be very well behaved, but there were moments when she acted up as I tried to be firm with her.
Admittedly, I believe there were maybe two battles I won with her, which is something her mom still reminds me of to this day.
I became fast friends with the little family and still spend a good amount of time with them.
Saturday, we went Christmas shopping and as per usual, my little friend and I took off for some adventures of our own. For the most part, we were well behaved and only had to be reprimanded a couple of times, like when I left a trail of popcorn throughout the store.
We even earned our favorite beverages. She gets the frozen hot chocolate, while I opt for whatever has the most espresso in it.
My point is I enjoy letting loose every once in a while and rediscovering the child within. With her, I can do that.
We giggle, sing and sometimes she lets me dance.
Being around her, or any child, is such a blessing and reminds of the naiveté of my youth, before life as an adult became riddled with tough decisions.
I still believe there is a time and place for childlike behavior and I do so enjoy the time I spend with my little best friend. She brings out the inner child in me and I’m glad to know it’s still there somewhere in this oftentimes pessimistic heart of mine.

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