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I love kids. They make me laugh.

One of my dearest and oldest friends became a grandmother eight or nine years ago. She tells me some of the funniest stories about her wee ones. Several years ago, her 3 or 4- year-old granddaughter was hanging out with her. They were enjoying the sunny back deck when the little one decided to jump off the lowest step onto the ground.

This tiny little human being, stunned to find herself safely on the ground, looked at her grandmother with wide eyes and said, “That scared the twap outta me!”

She had taken a big risk jumping those 8 inches and she exclaimed what was in her heart. Fear, relief, and then elation.

Such are the adventures of children.

Regretfully, somewhere along the way we forget to jump off the step. We forget how wonderfully exhilarating it is to take a risk. We’ve fallen too many times and now we are afraid. Too afraid to really live.

So as we grow older, we don’t go on vacations to exotic places. Too risky.

We don’t try a new sport. We might break a leg.

We don’t try new friends. They might push us to explore new ideas or even change long held beliefs and convictions.

It scares the “twap outta” us.

I don’t want to live a life void of fear because that means I am not truly growing and experiencing all the world has to offer me.

One lesson learned from a teeny tot.

The other day one of my co-worker’s 6-year-old was in the office. She is the cutest kindergartener. She loves clothes and shoes, especially her mom’s high heels. Whenever I see her at church or in the office, she unabashedly checks me out from head to toe. Occasionally, she has complimented my shoes or boots (which I feel is quite an honor).

So I overheard her talking with her mom a couple of days ago. As I was passing the office little Eve said, “I don’t like how I feel in these clothes ...” I saw her mom look up and take a quick glance of her daughter’s outfit and she said in the sweetest mom voice, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

Eve quickly assured her with a mini leap and arms thrown wide, “I LOVE how I feel in these clothes!”

Later my friend explained that those were new clothes she had purchased on a recent trip to California.

Eve was feeling “very fine” in her new threads.

When was the last time you celebrated big time the small things in your life? Like hot apple pie with a scoop of ice cream melting all over it? Or the way the sun feels on your face after it’s been snowing for 36 hours? Or what about when you’ve heard a song that moves you?

Seriously, when was the last time you loved the simple things in your life?

Two babes, two lessons and two resolves.

I am committed to jumping off the step; doing stuff that scares the “twap outta me” so that I can grow.

And, I am going to dance a little jig, raise my hands to the sky, and celebrate the little things that give me joy.

I love kids. They make me laugh. And learn.

Larry and Linda Kloster sponsor this column.


Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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