I have come to recent insight that there is really no such thing as a grownup. We all carry our basic insecurities and fears with us throughout our lives. They might not have the intensity they once had but they never disappear. Let’s face it none of us ever really grows up. Especially as far as our parents are concerned. I was always somewhat embarrassed when my father would introduce me, his fifty year old son, to some of his friends as “This is my boy”. Somewhat embarrassed but to a degree also proud. Dad never showed many feelings but through these words he was telling me and the person who he was introducing that he was proud of me. What child doesn’t want to hear that from his parents, even if it isn’t directly spoken. We are always a kid in our parents eyes. Someone who always needs the lessons they can teach us. We often return the favor by reverting to childlike behavior around our parents.
I will admit that to this day I can’t sleep in a bedroom with the closet door open. Of course I know that there are no monsters hiding there now but that doesn’t ameliorate the need to make sure the door is closed before I hop into bed. I was always a shy kid who just didn’t seem to belong. Those feelings followed me through much of my life and are even there to a degree today. When I started dating I always bumbled around on first dates. For that reason I had many more first dates than second or third dates. Not being around females except in the school yard I just never got comfortable with opposite sex exchanges.
For all our lives we are all just a bunch of kids running around the playground trying to fit in. Our playground gets bigger and maybe more complicated as the years pass but our desire to fit in with the rest of the kids never goes away. I don’t think I have ever known anyone who has really grown up. As much as we prance around trying to act like adults we often revert back to those childhood temperaments and fears.
But sometimes it is good to be a kid. Sometimes it is the best thing. Kids are constantly asking “Why” and that is something that is good to carry throughout our lives. We might think it is grown up to stop asking “why” but in reality taking things for granted often stifles our lives. Kids have the wildest hopes and dreams. When we are children we are constantly re-inventing our future. We go from wanting to be a fireman to an astronaut to this and to that. It is a good thing to carry that same drive into our so-called adult years and even into our senior years. When we give up our hopes and dreams we are basically giving up on life.
So, here is to the kid in all of us. May we always be children in one regard or another.