The Face of Innocence.

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I went to Hershey Park this week with my little family. We had a great time, riding rides and screaming at the water park going down water slides, eating ice cream and kettle corn and pizza. It was a full vacation for us all crammed into 14 hours of fun. And, the whole day that I was there, I was so present my little kid that is always inside of me.

That little girl that is always with me is hard to forget. She is silly, kind, full of heart and spunk. She goes out to the store in her pajama bottoms to make a fun breakfast, or dances in the street when she is happy. She is hard to forget, that is, until I forget her.

I forget her on the days when I most want to give myself a hard time about something. My triggers are usually around my body. When I want to really hate on myself, and not look upon myself with eyes of love, I forget about my little girl inside. I forget the beautiful, timeless, sweet innocence that resides inside of me, in every moment of my life.

As I have grown up, I have gotten really good at being a grownup. Consumed with all things adult, such as earning a living, choosing a career, and settling down. And, amongst those adult responsibilities and duties, I have remembered that my little girl was so close, and laughed out loud, or acted silly for no particular reason. But, more often than not, I would forget about that innocence, even neglect it, by pretending that it could no longer exist.

In some of those moments of adulthood, what seemed more worthy to me at any given moment, was to give myself over to being serious and intense, and forgetting about the joy of the moment. I would start to doubt myself, berate myself, and give myself a hard time for being me, for being a human in this world just trying to do her best.

Then, last week, after a particularly rough few days of self hatred, Brenda suggested that I put a picture of my little self on my dresser, and on my desk at work. After all, it is pretty hard to look upon that cute face above and find something to hate about it. Even for me.

So, I did just that. The picture is from New Year’s Day, probably when I was three or four years old. That smile is enough to beat the band. I am wearing a dress, on my tricycle, and feeling like a party is in the works. I am happy, and open, and free. And, the kicker is, whether I am looking at the photo or not on any given day, I ALWAYS get to choose to remember my child inside, my own sweet innocence. That beautiful face.

So, this week at Hershey reminded me that I can capture those moments as a grown up too, and still capture that little girl within. Today, I am so happy to remember that I always have a face of innocence. I just have to be willing to see it.

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