Last Friday, I proved that I’d officially lost my mind by taking seven 10-year-old boys out to play for an entire day. I picked them up after early release from school at 11:15 and delivered them back to their parents that night at 7pm. Of course there were a few scraped knees and a little bickering here and there, but for the most part, we had a wild and wonderful day together. The best part?
Not a single one of them was on a phone or any kind of electronics.
Outside of going to see 90 minutes of quality entertainment during “The Emoji Movie”, we were talking, laughing, playing, singing and engaging the entire day. They found so many things to do, like “sledding” down this grass hill outside The Star. Snow? Sleds? Who needs ’em! There wasn’t a dull moment to be found. That was normal when I was 10, but these days, even kids this age seem to be constantly connected to their devices.
They were present and engaged with each other, the entire day.
They even taught me a game called “Sweet and Salty” in which everyone smiles and waves frantically at passing cars (or heaven forbid, someone stuck at the light next to you for an uncomfortably long period of time). If they finally break, smile and wave back, they are deemed “sweet” and receive cheers and praise of all sorts. If they stare blankly ahead, eye roll, or look down at their phones, they are “salty” and “Wah-Wahs” echo through the land. All day long, they were engaging with each other and wait for it. . . engaging with other humans.
They were bringing so much joy to this world.
A woman driving an ambulance. A teenage guy who was previously staring blankly at the light. A mother with all her kids in tow. An older gentleman with a car full of random things. They looked up in confusion, but smiles instantly filled their faces as they waved back and played along.
It taught me something about myself.
To cars full of fun-loving happy kids – I’m probably mostly salty. Not because I want to be mean, but because I’m so engrossed in my own life and thoughts that I might not notice a load of kids laughing and waving frantically through their windows trying to get me to smile back.
Sometimes all it takes is looking up.
Allowing yourself to notice that there is still joy in this world. There are people smiling at you, you’re just not paying attention. Maybe the next time you’re feeling a little salty, try smiling and waving at the car next to you.
Awkward giggles will ensue.
It’s like a drug, I tell you. It’s not actually like a drug, it IS a drug. Your brain releases all the happy endorphins and dopamine. Health benefits will abound, for both you, and the lucky person who is open to receive your smile and wave. Don’t be salty.
Go get ’em out there today Sweetness!
to more love,