What do I mean when I say, “I’m a child at heart”? At the most basic level, I think people don’t quite get what I mean. In fact, when I say it I get a lot of scowls. I guess it’s not the proper thing to say or to be.
I don’t mean that I’m childish or immature. I read an article, and then several more, the other day about being a kid at heart. What I found was that it was a bunch of adults avoiding responsibilities. It’s people who like waffles, candy, roller coasters, who have weird fears (yes that was in two articles), and have temper tantrums.
To me, that’s nothing to be proud of.
That’s not what I mean when I say I’m a child at heart. I don’t mean that I’m childish. If that were the case, I sure as hell wouldn’t broadcast it. I’m not childish. But I am a child at heart.
And that means something special to me.
When I was in my freshman or sophomore year of high school, I had a moment when I was walking to the bus stop. I looked over to my left, the East, and I saw the sun rising. For a split second, I didn’t care. It might have had something to do with my crippling depression, but I had this feeling inside of me that it wasn’t about that. I felt like I was growing up…scratch that. I felt like I was becoming the classic version of an adult.
So I stopped, took a picture, and stood for a while looking at the sun peek through the tree line. It was so gorgeous. I can still see it in my head. In that moment, I remember telling myself that even if I had to force myself, I would always find beauty in the small things, joy in minute moments, and I would always feel my emotions.
When I say I’m a child at heart, this is what I’m talking about.
Kids are real special. They cry when they’re sad or hurt. They yell or pout when they’re angry. They find adventure between two blades of grass. They laugh at the smallest things. And we always admire that. We seem to think though that we can’t be like that because we are adults. And that’s just not true.
This is short and sweet today, but I want you to take five minutes and reflect on what it means to be a child at heart for you. We are too angry, too fear-driven, too full of anxiety. We need to get back to our beginnings.
We can still play in the snow, we can still go for adventures outdoors. I do both those things all the time. We don’t have to be cranky old adults. We can be happy. We can be a child at heart.