They were electrified, the wildness in them like fluid, like quicksand, like a sucking motion pulling them into action. Their bodies clanged and jumped like wires. They were unstoppable. The wildness gripped their legs and arms and sent them spiraling, propelled them forward, and set them into motion, motion. It gobbled them up and rolled them around on its big floppy tongue and they laughed because this was glorious. They did not want to grow up! This was living. The wildness consumed them and filled them.
They were receptive to its whims. It said to run across the kitchen floor shouting, so they did. It told them to run into Mommy’s room and jump on her bed and tear off all the sheets and pillows and smash into one another as they jumped, so they did. The wildness never told them to stop. It never told them to be still. That was only Mommy; Mommy shouting at them to slow down and be careful, her words bouncing off their skin. They did not listen. They could not listen. The wildness was like a lion roaring and roaring in their ears!
They could not wait for it to appear. Sometimes it moved stealthily, quietly. On padded cat feet it would push open their bedroom doors and pounce on their beds and lick their faces awake. Sometimes it hid around corners and would jump out at them and circle them in its arms. Sometimes it would slowly creep across the floor, stalking them, biding its time, while they sat very still on the couch and watched it, waited for it to crawl underneath their feet and pull them to the floor.
The wildness was merciless, endless, so big! It made them into superheroes, made them into robbers, made them into monster machines blazing around the house. It danced with them, lifted their arms and legs and pulled them in circles (bigger and bigger) until they fell: breathless. It was not something they could see head-on, only something to be looked at out of the corners of their eyes. It was a thing that made sense only when looked at sideways or over a shoulder. If they looked it straight in the face, it disappeared. POOF!
So instead, they invited it in, fed it, gave it a place at the table with them, asked about its favorite colors and favorite parks and favorite things to eat. They dined with it, devouring play dough pizza and ice cream and hot dog hamburger bologna potato sandwiches. (This was their specialty and the wildness loved it.) They poured it glasses of juice and milk and sipped through pretend (and sometimes real) straws that were so messy and so noisy. The wildness was friendly, but not very polite, and sometimes it was angry and gnashing and not a listener. On those days, their Mommy would get especially angry and they would spend a lot of time upstairs by themselves thinking about what they had done.
Their Mommy could never understand that it was them and was not them. It was their choice and was not their choice, for how could they resist it? They liked to think that even their Mommy would not be able to if it ever got a hold of her. Their Mommy filled with the wildness; how amusing! They imagined her clanging and banging her way through the house, dancing, and spinning. But, they had witnessed it before, hadn’t they? They had seen her twirling and shout-singing with them and stomping up and down the hallways. What they realized was that most of the time their Mommy forgot about the wildness, or worse, ignored it. They took vows to never ignore it. They promised that it would always fill their bodies and their feet and their chest with its lightness. They took an oath of allegiance to the wildness and sealed the deal by tearing every single toy out of their toy boxes and throwing them up and up into the air, letting them land like confetti.