Swinging by Brittany Randolph

(Swinging by Brittany Randolph)

This might seem like a strange time to blog about it, so bear with me, but I’ve always loved the holiday season. Looking back, I can connect this love to a relative absence in abuse during the holidays. For various reasons, my perpetrating father would give me a respite during November and December each year. I felt safe and like I was able to be a kid over the holiday breaks.

It’s easy to bring out my inner child during the holidays, but not so much the rest of the year. My inner child loves to decorate, color, bake, and loudly sing Christmas songs. My favorite Christmas movie is “Prancer”, because the main character is my inner child (and she’s also lucky enough to find a reindeer).

Clearly the holidays are not soon — and I can almost hear some of you readers sighing in relief — but my inner child gets sad around this time of year, and I have to get creative to honor her. So, I find reasons to decorate and bake by having a May tea party with my step-daughter and her friends. I find butterfly coloring books and I scrapbook over the summer. I have to listen harder this time of year to figure out what will make my inner child’s heart sing.

Some of the summer activities I love (and maybe you will, too) are sidewalk chalk art, hopscotch, mini-golf, blowing bubbles, hula hoop, flying a kite, jumping through the water sprinkler, water balloon fights, making (but mostly eating) s’mores, a picnic in the park, picking wildflowers, and walking barefoot in the grass

Maybe the list could be seen as “childish”, but I tend to tune out what society says I “should” be doing. A Google search of what not to wear after 30 reveals an overwhelming list of “don’ts.”

Well, I wear big sunglasses, colorful socks, sneakers, hair bands, and glitter nail polish in public and without shame. A few weeks ago, I made a friendship bracelet with my step-daughter and wore it. I do reserve certain things for the weekends, but I don’t banish them from my life entirely just because a fashion magazine tells me it’s not appropriate at my age.

I don’t know about fashion editors, but I personally missed out on a lot of my childhood. I need my moments and I need to reconnect with the little girl inside who didn’t care what her peers thought. I’m with her for life, so her opinions matter.

The more I listen to my inner child and allow for her feelings, the more I am able to honor her. So, I build in time to my schedule to listen. Do we need to laugh, play, sleep, cry, or grieve the life we could have had? I listen and pay attention to ways that I can validate her. I look for ways for her to be heard because she wasn’t allowed to speak up for many, many years.

She’s been silenced and caged for long enough. She needs time to express herself and be free, all year round.

About the Author:

WT has been working with children and youth exposed to domestic violence, sexual abuse/assault, teen dating violence, stalking and trafficking for the past 10 years. In her free time, she likes to garden, crochet, scrapbook and spend time with her family.

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