Childhood Luxuries probably start with having someone else doing everything for you. But once you cross beyond the ability to feed yourself, wipe yourself and work the remote control yourself, you still have certain luxuries which aren’t often afforded by the adult. Temper tantrums are not specifically endemic to children. Some of the biggest temper tantrums I’ve ever seen were by the most ignorant congressional representatives on the house floor, or by the head of marketing at a board meeting.
Recess use to be great. 15 minutes every 2 hours to go outside and swing like a jungle creature on the “Monkey bars” (Can I still say that)? In 6th grade I had a girlfriend. We passed notes. “I like you, do you like me”? “Will you be my girlfriend”? Talk about low maintenance romance.
But what I think came natural, and kept us somewhat healthy as children was the ability to cry spontaneously.
This morning I heard my neighbor’s grand kid crying outside of the house. I could see she was trying to hide her tears. At first I felt really bad for her. I mean; how can a human with a beating heart not feel emotion for a child crying? Then the analytical/conservative popped his head in and said: “Ah she’s probably a spoiled little brat that didn’t get the new X-box game or whatever the new “gotta have” material object is”.
Then my higher-self descended on me and said: “Such a wonderful thing”. The ability to externalize something you perceive to be wrong or a misdeed. Maybe dealing with disappointed emotions was in progress. Perhaps she realized that she may never get to meet Justin Bieber. I don’t know.
I just think that as adults, there’s a fine line between physically letting our emotions play out, suppressing them while living in denial, or just having a self-pity party.
I don’t think kids have pity parties. (Separating the tantrum from the crying) To them, the crying is real. They don’t realize that not getting to see Justin Bieber is not the end of the world. But the hurt is still there.
I think as adults, we suppress a lot of hurt. As men, we suppress 99.9% of the pain as we’re expected to buck up and “Be a man”. We try to deal with it by submerging our life into our work. We justify our displeasure by saying things could have been worse. We self-medicate with Alcohol, drugs, Sports or Television.