Uninhibited fun is spelled J-E-L-L-O

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2005

I wrote a few months ago about losing Princess, my pet of many years.

I found that I was not prepared to spend much time without a pet so I got a Westie. I wonder at times if I have bitten off more than I can chew. Although I must admit that it would not be the first time I did so and if I live another year or two it won't be the last time.

At any rate, she is a handful. Terriers are hyper little critters, not to mention a little stubborn. The up side is she is great entertainment! I find myself laughing even when she exasperates me because she just feels so good and is so happy. For example, when she is in the yard and I want her to come in. She thinks it is all a big game and runs ever widening circles around me, having herself a fine old time.

On the other side of the coin, she has a gentle and loving nature. She loves everyone she sees, adults and children alike. She is always ready to snuggle and give as much love as she gets.

You know human babies are just the same. They have a lot of energy, imagination and they love for people to talk and play with them. I see many parents who correct their children for being so full of life and energy. Many times they ridicule them or fuss about their imagination. That bothers me a great deal. Life would be better for all of us if we had kept that energy and happiness throughout our lives. That imagination is called creativity in adults and is a valuable tool. It needs to be encouraged.

Daniel White, my children's great grandfather, corrected me once years ago because he thought I was correcting the children over something I shouldn't have. (He was someone I loved enough to listen and believe what he said.) He said we should only correct children for things that would cause them harm or because we were trying to help them build moral character.

I tried to follow that advice. Many times I would look out a window to see what my children were doing in the yard. Sometimes I would see them playing in mud or doing things I remembered doing as a child. Things that didn't hurt me at all, but were great fun. I learned to watch, enjoy it and never let them know I had seen them doing it.

If you have children or grandchildren, think about that advice and relax a little. You may find yourself having fun and taking some stress out of your life.

I read a few years ago about a mother (I think it was the author Barbara Johnson) who came home one day to find her sons in the kitchen throwing Jello at each other. She said she stopped for a minute stunned. Then she grabbed a spoon and started throwing Jello right along with them. When they were through Jello was all over the counters, walls and floor. They were covered from head to foot in Jello as well, but they were collapsing with laughter. Then they all pitched in and cleaned up together. She said it was a memory they laughed over for many years.

Now it is a precious memory to her because two of her sons died as young men. Her third left home and was gone many years before they were finally reunited. It was God and the happy times that pulled her through.

Now I'm not real sure if everyone could do the Jello thing, but if you are one who could – honey get out the Jello and go to it!