I don’t know why so many grown-ups seem to have forgotten how to play. I can be very serious when I need to, but I could not imagine how boring life would be if I didn’t find ways to amuse myself whenever possible. I’m the kind of “adult” who jumps on the back of shopping carts and rides them through parking lots. If there’s a swing-set near me, there’s a good chance I will be swinging, and if I see a tree that looks fun to climb, I will probably be climbing. If you give me a box of crayons and some paper, I will color for hours.
Even when there are no toys around, I can still play. I make up silly stories or poems in my head (which I occasionally share, but are usually just forgotten). My family and I are always engaging in playful verbal sparring (or even actual rough-housing), and my daughter and I enjoy doing things like wearing wigs to the dojo to confuse our teacher. Skyler also thinks it’s funny to talk to me in German (which I do not speak), so I often respond to her in Spanish (which she doesn’t understand). We also punch whoever is in the car with us when we see a yellow vehicle, or, of course, a VW Bug. I used to jump on Joe’s back and make him give me piggyback rides all of the time, but since I started Jiu-Jitsu he’s always afraid I’m going to choke him, so now he just tries to throw me.
When I was working at the Jiu-Jitsu State Games, I stuck pencils in my ponytails so that it looked like I had antennae. My sole purpose in doing so was to make people smile, not to use them as weapons (as Martínez claimed!). As I write this, I am wearing a tiara, simply because I want to. I like giving fun nicknames and assigning theme songs to my friends. I don’t care if people think I’m silly or immature, because I enjoy having fun, and I will never be too old to play. Joy is a balm that soothes the soul, so I look for opportunities to create it whenever I can.