The Delight of Falling Down

I’ve written here in the past about my niece (and will continue to write about her in the future), who is now coming up on 4. I haven’t mentioned much about my nephew, though, because he’s younger, and he hasn’t had the ability to interact much with me when I’ve seen him.

That all changed a few weeks ago when I was in Virginia for the holidays. James is about a year and half now, and he’s walking around, smiling, and laughing. He’s just on the cusp of saying a lot of words.

My dad had told me that James likes to fall down. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by this until I saw it in action, but it was such a joy to experience.

Basically, if you’re sitting on the ground, James will walk over to you and then into you. It’s not aggressive; he just kind of falls into you, wiggles for a moment, then rolls away and keeps on going.

He’ll do the same thing with pillows. When he falls into them, he shrieks with laughter and delight.

I love that James delights in falling down. As an adult, it’s my inclination to not want to fall down, both literally and figuratively. Falling down hurts. It’s embarrassing.

But not to James. It’s one of his favorite things. It’s fun, and it’s helping him learn about his coordination.

And sure, sometimes he catches a sharp edge or he falls down when he doesn’t expect it, and he doesn’t enjoy that. But most of the time, there is purpose in the way he falls, and there’s joy in it.

I’m going to remember that the next time I fall down.

3 thoughts on “The Delight of Falling Down”

  1. Jamey,

    I remember distinctly those times when my own daughter would fall…as an adult, depending on the situation you either have to either stifle the laughter (please don’t think ill of me) or the urge to immediately console…why, because embarrassment is more often the feeling that the little one might experience, not pain. So, often, I found myself opening my arms and saying in a candid voice…of course with a smile, “what happened, sweetie?” More often than not, I was met with a giggle, even if she bumped her arm or head.


  2. I love this! I need to follow James’ lead when I fall down (almost always, figuratively)–falling down is an opportunity to receive others’ support or to just laugh it off.


Leave a Reply

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading