Sunday, July 15, 2012

Igniting Freedom Around the Campfire

The bonfire on the beach is cracking and blowing thin streams of smoke and flecks of orange embers towards the shore. My bubbly blond college friend, her vivacious children and her friend's children all huddle in for warmth and start asking who has a scary story or song. Now normally, my kids and we would sit back and enjoy the entertainment and just join the chorus. They would settle in for a cuddle and shake their heads when we whispered to them to get up and share a song. Their face would get resistant and reticent. I would start wishing I had remembered the words to the songs I sang around fires as a kid and start wondering when I had "lost it."

Last night was totally different. My kids were the first ones up, bouncing and loud, clear and delighted to share all by themselves. They had done Cub Scout camp a few weeks ago and they were heavily armed with an artillery of silly and slightly disastrous or vulgar songs. The fact that they were doing them, and that people were laughing and clapping was joy enough. But what moved me to tears was the joy my boys expressed. The unabashed confidence. The delight and wiggly glee. The direct eye contact and smiles from ear to ear. They were thrilled to give fun to others. That has me so moved, so in love with who they are as human beings...I couldn't be any happier. A child fully self expressed awakens the love of life we all have, but we squelch.
We remember that we still love camp songs and silly jokes. We hold our breath when another person's child tells a joke, silently praying that they remember the punch line and it goes well, so that they are not embarrassed and traumatized later in life. Because we were. Somewhere along the line, most of us adults forgot the words to a song or told a joke and got laughed at or booed at instead of laughed with. Some where along the line we decided that not getting up in front of people was safer.
And then we see children get up and speak, dance, sing and make goofy faces in front of everyone, it's like SCORE! Score one for the human race! We still got it! We rock! We will NOT be shut down by fear, resignation or doubt. We will chant! We will sing! We will be goofy and mess up and we will ROCK ON!
So sing out fellow campers and beach goers...rock out parents and adults and kids. Together we stand for full self expression, joy and delight! Bring on the potty talk songs... and belt out the burp accented jokes, it is now, officially THE BEST SUMMER EVER.

Zen Honeycutt
P.S. THANK you to the Cub Scout organization!

Link to Cub Scout Campfire songs

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