Pop-quiz for anyone over 30,,,! When’s the last time you flew a kite in spring, climbed a tree in summer, picked apples in fall, and threw a snowball in winter?
Chances are, the older [and so much more adult] we become, the less time we have for such childish diversions. We are reminded of St Paul: “Now that I am a man I have put away the things of a child.” And while I sure wouldn’t want to arm-wrestle Paul in any theological debate, I can’t quite swallow his wisdom whole.
In my advanced years, the way I see childhood is not something to put away; but something to build from. When all’s said and done, our childhood just may have been the best we ever were. Not in maturity and accomplishments; but in innocence and aspirations. Generally our values were good, our actions proper, and our dreams mostly about being and doing great and wonderful things with our lives.
By now — older in body, wiser in mind, and guarded in heart — we’re less likely to fly kites and start snowball fights. You know, there’s that act-your-age thing from mom and your teachers and your bosses. Don’t want to appear foolish. And yet, perhaps the most grievous foolishness of our adulthood is letting loose of that gossamer belief that the world is as beautiful as it is big, that people out there are as good as the family in here.
Seems to me the more we armor ourselves with the suspicions and skills of adulthood, the less we are that wholesome happy kid believing nothing can hurt you, no one is your enemy, and life is forever. Silly…? sentimental…? sappy…? Damn right! But my didn’t life feel so much nicer.
Remembering and re-channelling those long lost memories doesn’t have to mean dropping all your hard-earned armor. But it does mean getting in touch with the you you once were. And who enjoyed being you every morning you woke up.
Snowball fight, anyone…?
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