The Child Grows Up

This week has got me wanting to be a kid again.

imageWhat I wouldn’t give for that. Childhood is a state of pure, simple, in-the-moment life. If there is danger, your parents scoop you up and protect you from it. The worst reason you will ever cry is if some kid pulls your hair and laughs at you, but you are kindly reminded that those boys just like you, and they really don’t mean it — they’ll learn as they grow older. You don’t have much in the way of responsibilities, and you don’t have to deal with the disastrous aftermath of too many decisions. You don’t even know what stress is.

imageI want to go back to a time when I wrote stories about kids being tormented by their siblings because I didn’t know any more drama than that. I want to go back to a time when the most regret I felt was that I ate all the chocolate cookies and left my mom and sister with the vanilla ones, and they got mad. I want to go back to a time when I could sit in the doghouse and eat sand with my sister, or spend a whole afternoon counting dynamite holes in the rocks at the beach.

But I’m an adult now. I have responsibilities. I can still visit my childhood, but I have reality keeping me accountible for my actions. Every single decision I make has a consequence. I must learn to trust the right people, and keep my dignity when those without any try to snatch it away from me. I must learn how to weed through all the lies and selfish decisions that others still working toward their adulthood make.

The word “adult” is so loaded. Saying you’re an adult should mean you have your shit together — or at least that you’re trying, anyway. Age should not be the only qualifier for adulthood; those who hide behind their age with the haughty insistence that they have earned it, when their actions speak otherwise, should have that title taken away.

Simultaneously, being an adult means that you have experienced life — all its heartbeak, its unevenness, its blunt force as it carries on. Some events change you; some events don’t. And the ones that do (and the ones that don’t) say a lot about who you are. Pray that you still remain a child; but strive to be an adult.

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