No Old Curmudgeons Here, Thank You
Seems hard to believe another year has come and gone. My daughter and I turn another year old today. She turns three; I turn something-greater-than-three. I really couldn't ask for a better birthday buddy, since we have similar personality traits and enjoy many of the same things in life. And it was great to have almost our entire family around last night to help us celebrate our joint birthdays. Although...
How do I put this without sounding ungrateful? Something is bothering me. She received a lot of cool toys. I got an iPod. She scored a make-believe doctor's kit (and insisted that we call her "Dr. Abby" the rest of the night). I made off with some excellent gift certificates to Barnes & Noble and such. Don't get me wrong... I think our family was very generous to both of us, and we're both very happy with what we received. I think my question is... when did I grow up... and why did I let it happen?
The more I think about it, the more I believe that childhood should be a lifelong state. There should always be wonder, imagination, and curiosity around every turn... even if we think we know the answers. We should continue to get skinned knees and wear them like trophies. We should check out that little forest at the end of the block because... well... you just never know.... We should revel in reading a swashbuckling adventure book under a tree on a lazy afternoon because every boy should know the finer art of swashbuckling. We should ask why... again... and again... and again. Maybe the answers the "adults" are giving are not complete enough for us to put our minds around. We should eat ice cream at our own pace, and if it drips... that's what the dog is for.
So my birthday wish is this (for me and for you): don't fall into the numbers trap. Whether you're three or ... um... forty-one... laugh more, question more, trick and tease, romp and run, play dress-up for no reason other than to let your imagination soar, hug more, sing, get grass stains on your new pants, and find a swing set just begging for attention. We'll leave the growing up for the adults. We have better things to occupy our time.