Remember those books so many of us used to love as kids? The ones with the crazy, mischievous, curious, up-to-no-good main characters? Ramona Quimby, the Great Brain, Fudge, Junie B. Jones, Tom Sawyer, Encyclopedia Brown, … the list goes on.
Many kids love them because they feel as if they can join the characters on their adventures. Others use them as inspiration to create their own games and schemes. As an elementary school attendee I usually fell somewhere between the two.
Last week during swim lessons, I was reminded of just how much I miss those days. One of the little boys I teach, Will, is the embodiment of those beloved characters in many ways. He always has that little twinkle in his eye letting you know he has, as he says, “probably the besterest idea ever, Miss Heidi!” He even looks like he should be on the cover of one of the books. His little dark curls and bunches of freckles perfectly compliment his personality.
With each of my kids that I teach, we work on all the usual things: their strokes, lung capacity, speed, and endurance. Honestly, it can get a little mundane by the end of the week sometimes. I still absolutely love each of the kids, but some days it is hard to find ways to make lessons different and exciting.
With Will, though, this was no challenge at all. When we were going to work on lung capacity, I said, “Hey, Will, let’s go underwater and see how long we can hold our breath” to which he promptly responded, “That’s it? Just go underwater?” I wasn’t sure what to say. Then, he said, “How about while we do it we do that humming thing.” (He meant when you cross your legs and make your fingers into circles like you are meditating.)
So, we “did the humming thing.” But, as you might have guessed, that was only entertaining a couple times in a row. As the week progressed we added more and more things to do underwater. (humming, spinning, dancing, swimming like a snake, etc.)
One day he said, “Heidi, Heidi, Heidi! I just had a wonderful idea! We should do the most besterest greatest thing in the world while we holds our breaths! … run in circles!!!” Gosh I wish I had that outlook on life sometimes.
My personal favorite, though, was the last day of lessons last week.
He got that little twinkle in his eye. “Heidi!” he proclaimed as he threw his hands up in the air. “I know what we should do! You go underwater and roll around, and I’ll run on you with my face in the water.” I gave him a funny look right before he added, “You know, like Indiana Jones!” Oh, of course. I should have known. (I’ll admit it, it actually was pretty fun.)
In my last post I wrote about some people’s ability to add their own unique flair to everyday life. I have decided that Will could be the poster child of making the normally mundane into something exciting. Everyone could take a few pointers from Will. I challenge you to take a week and embrace your inner first grader. Will helped me do it, and it was a fantastic little adventure.