Feeling Like a Kid Again
By Jeremy Anderson
Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to zip down to Louisiana for 48 hours to celebrate my younger brother’s birthday. We’re just 2 years apart and shared a bedroom until I was 12 years old. People used to think we were twins – that’s how close we were and still are!
We have always been a board game family, and one of our favorites growing up was an awesome Milton Bradley game from the 80’s/90’s called HOTELS – like a 3-dimensional, much more fun version of Monopoly. They stopped making it in the 90’s, but I found a worn but good-condition set on eBay for Brad’s birthday and jumped on a plane.
Our 48 hours together were a whirlwind of fun including an adults-only dinner celebration, a King Cake taste-test extravaganza, late-night fireside chats, boiled crawfish and plate lunch specials, an early-morning Meche’s donut-run after their 5 kids played hooky, lots of cuddles and laughs, and, most importantly, multiple games of HOTELS!
It was so much fun to be transported back in time with my brother, as we played this game that meant (and apparently still means) so much to us. You can see it in our faces – we look like 2 little kids again. And it was an overwhelming joy to reconnect with my nieces and nephews, whom I hadn’t seen in 2 years – reminding me to see life through the eyes of a child. And THAT reminded me of a well-known essay by Robert Fulghum from the late 80’s that captures this sentiment perfectly. I hope this brings a smile to your face just as it always has to mine!
“All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School.
These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all—the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are—when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
Excerpt taken from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.