Oh, to be a boy… Again?
I want to be a boy who gets to play and run and jump. I want to be a boy who has more joys than worries, more freedom than responsibility, more love and compassion than punishment and consequences.
At times, we all have romantic fantasies about times in our lives we’d like to revisit—these longings are more often fantasy of escape and freedom. Now that’s not all bad but the fascination with going back to high school for a weekend to have the freedom and fast cars is just a fun thought—and an escape from the current burdens.
Today I saw a photo my friend Scott posted of his best friend growing up. In it I saw two boys being boys, being friends. I didn’t want to escape, or even return to, I just wanted to experience “that.”
I had a great childhood, rich with memories, as most have. There’s no place, time or energy for complaints. Like all of us, our childhood’s where what we knew—we had no experience to compare them with, no gold standard. Thus, we accept and remember it as we viewed it then, largely.
But as I’m looking at this picture there’s something which has me thinking deep and serious; wondering if I ever really did have that childhood. Was I was ever that boy who just played, and played. Who ran for fun and freedom…
Or was I always on a mission—a survivor, winning to eliminate the potential for failure. It seems like I was always running to somewhere or from something. Running, running, doing and running. But did I really play?
Either way… I want to be a boy, perhaps again only in age; in heart and mind for the first time. I suspect that I grew up too fast, took on too much and did a hell of lot more than survive—sure, but damn I missed a lot of good ol’ fashioned fun.
This thought today awakens me to the need as a parent to nurture and protect my children’s childhoods; to help them grow into responsible people but not make them grow before their time; to shape them through influence not mold them through force.
Good chance that I missed out on a lot of being that boy who ran and played. Hence, there’s a place in my soul where I crave to feel the wind blowing through my hair, watch the weeds bending in the breeze, chase the horses at dusk, smell the grass greening in spring and dance bare foot in the rain.
The good news is I have the chance to do that with my boy and with my girl, and damned if I’m going to miss it, again!
Here’s to running, jumping and dancing barefoot long beyond your “useful years.”
Here’s to Your Life @ Full Strength!