Bernard L. De Koven

On Having Fun

Playing Like a Grown-Up

Perhaps it is time to release the inner-adult.

Posted Feb 25, 2016

You know people who, when talking about play and playfulness, seem to always hark back to childhood and children’s play and the endlessly joy-filled days we gloried therein?

I find my self spending a lot of time reminding those very people of the kinds of fun that our inner-child couldn’t have when we were children, simply because we didn’t know enough, we hadn’t seen enough, we hadn’t brought our own children into the world, we hadn’t learned enough, experienced enough, discovered enough of our strengths, loved as strongly, worked as passionately.

Sure, we can play the same kinds of games we played when we were children, but experiencing those same games as adults, weaving them into the context of what we have since learned and experienced and dreamed, the games become something else, we become something more. We care for each other differently. We appreciate each other differently. We play with each other differently.

When we were children, we could only play as children. We couldn’t really choose to be childlike, to be playful, to have fun, because it was what we did whenever we could, with or without permission or even intention. We didn’t even know, let alone think of what we were doing as being particularly playful. But as adults, given the opportunity, finding the permission to come out and play together – we can bring all those years of power, experience, compassion, all those competencies and strengths, all the stories and histories, all our sophistication and post-pubescent powers into play. We can release the inner-adult. We can set it free to weave its majestically playful path into the fabric of the daily game.

Originally published in A Playful Path