As you can probably tell, the properly bundled up little gentleman to the left is me. For him, the world was so big and bright...he was so curious and well intentioned...he was a good kid...exceptionally bright and eager. The yard was an adventure, even an old box was exciting...he loved to climb on and under furniture...the world at large was full of mystery and wonder. Every day was filled with discovery and learning. He was enthralled with music. He was a happy child and had a great time exploring his little world...full of life and joy.
Honestly, I'm envious of him, and sometimes I'm overwhelmed with concern for him...because a few short years later, his safe world would fall apart and everything that he felt holding him secure would fail him...although he didn't collapse completely outwardly, on the inside he was shattered. Circumstances happen...and as believers, we all know that they work together for our good (thanks for the reminder Pastor)...but in the midst of all that, life seems to specialize at stealing that joy we have as children. Responsibility, problems and in my case, the collapse of my family structure, conspire to gradually suck the joy...the happiness...the fun...the light from our lives.
For some reason, I'm drawn to these pictures of myself, I keep one where I can see it at work...I often use them as profile pics on Facebook...because I like to look at them and wonder what that little boy was thinking, what he was feeling, what happened to him that day...as if to engage in some strange forensic exercise to trace the steps to the adult I know. Of course, my memory isn't that great and I didn't have a blog to look back on...or Facebook and Twitter statuses to remind me of where I was internally that day...so I often come back to where I am in relation to that little guy. See, I'm quite silly, I love cartoons...especially their theme songs...I can be downright childish at some moments...music brings me SO much joy...so I know he's in here somewhere...deep down, my inner child lives. I miss his curiosity about the world...life can make us so jaded...I miss the ability of a child to trust...people tend to rip that away over the years...I miss the pure intuition and integrity of youth...most of us adults learn to become quite numb and slick to navigate this world.
So...as my act of rebellion, I'm fighting for that little boy...not to absolve myself of the responsibility of being an adult...but to restore to myself the ability to laugh more...to enjoy more...to trust more...to care more.
You know, when I think about it, that little dude would jump from furniture and trees without a care...I think he somehow knew that if nothing else, the ground would always be there to catch him...the adult tends to focus more on the fact that it's very possible that hitting that ground will hurt badly. I guess my hope is that once again, one day I'll be more eager to fly than afraid to fall and be hurt...I owe it to him.
Here's that little one in all of us.