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No Old Curmudgeons Here, Thank You

Tim_child"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."  -Apostle Paul

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.


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» Looking Forward to the First Birthday from My Beautiful Chaos
There are some birthday parties going on.  Two in particular. Timothy at Carpe Factum and his beautiful daughter, Abby celebrated their birthday yesterday.  He writes a fantastic post about (not) growing up.  However, you are missing out if you don... [Read More]



Happy Birthday to both of you. I forgot how many I know who share birthdays. I may have "matured" but I refuse to grow-up. Often times I do something "goofy" just to relieve the tension or cause people to not take it all so seriously. My mantra is, "God put me here to entertain the troops." When I lose the wonder, awe, curiosity and excitement that is all around me, I will have lost myself.

Rosa Say

Hau‘oli la hanau to you and Abby, Timothy! We are celebrating our birthday at www.JoyfulJubilantLearning.com too - such fun! As you say, we do need to revel in wonder, awe, curiosity and the excitement of these memorable days, getting them to infect every other day of our lives as well. I will join you in your swashbuckling mantra!

April Groves

Happy Birthday Timothy and Dr. Abby :) BTW - Something tells me there is still plenty of kid in you :)

Timothy Johnson

Sue Ann - coming from you, the birthday wish is gold! Thank you again for the great bulldog. He will occupy a place of honor in my office at Drake.

Rosa - Mahalo - feel free to swashbuckle with me any time you please

April - guilty as charged. But what gave me away? The skateboard? The pink bunny suit? Playing cops and robbers with real SWAT teams?

Eric Peterson

Happy Birthday to you and your daughter. That would be really special (sharing a birthday with your daughter).

Isn't it nice having kids? Especially toddlers? You are forced to stay young just to be able to keep up with them! To keep up physically as well as mentally! And yes, I do look at it as keeping up with my daughter mentally! She is a smart girl with such a grand imagination!

Enjoy your day! Enjoy your kids! Enjoy your youth!

Shelley Davison

Tim, I hope you and Abby had a wonderful day. It was so good to share your special time Sunday night. I love the picture of you, and sad enough, I remember when you looked like that. Always keep the wonder and imagination about you. That's what keeps me reading your blog.

Timothy Johnson

Eric - daughters are the best thing for us dads... they constantly knock us out of our comfort zone day in and day out. But the trade-offs are huge.

Shelley - the best birthday present of all was being able to share the day with family. I consider myself fortunate in knowing that you and David and Mom and Dad were there from my earliest memories.

Claire Celsi

Tim: Happy birthday, old man. You and I share a birth year! Thanks for the advice!

Jeff Hutton

Forty-one? Amazing. You hardly look a day over 40. Just kidding, Tim. I recently wrote my column about birthdays. Here's part of an excerpt:

Thus far, I have no complaints about 40.
For me, turning 30 was certainly more traumatic; not sure why, but moving from 29 to 30 felt less than inspiring or fulfilling.
Within that decade, I think I’ve mellowed; maybe not to the point of ever being called, “laid back,” but certainly more relaxed.
It’s clear that as we get older, life isn’t worth living if all we do is worry about what’s going on around us all the time.
And certainly, with time, our perspective changes, thanks in part to all those mistakes we made when we were 20 and 30.
At 40, I wear my mistakes and my successes as badges of honor. They are, in fact, part of who I am.
And the fact that friends, family and co-workers gave me a great birthday may be a testament to the fact that I haven’t screwed up too much in the 40 years that I’ve been around.
A friend noted that I came into this world around the same time as the Big Mac.
Yes, indeed, McDonald’s signature burger turned 40 just last month.
And while the Big Mac’s 40th birthday was celebrated with the opening of the Big Mac Museum Restaurant in Pennsylvania, I will just have to settle for the nice tributes and accolades that have come my way this week.
Besides, I can’t think of a better way to mark four decades of a life well lived ... thus far.

Timothy Johnson

Claire - glad I could share with you. 1966 was a great year for Ford Mustangs and human beings.

Jeff - you're a testament to four decades of great living. It's a pleasure to know you.

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