This I Believe

Melissa - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on November 29, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

On an average Saturday at the mall, one can find 11 year old girls with navel piercings, heels, and caked on makeup. Today’s youth want to grow up so quickly, focusing on the latest in cell phone technology and fashion, while they should be home, playing Barbie’s, and cherishing their childhoods. I believe people should never lose their childlike qualities. Stresses are relieved, and life is so much easier when it’s filled with laughter.

For example, my 47 year old parents work full time and have many obligations. While at home, they think about work responsibilities, bills, and health problems. To lighten the mood, my father will take off his Vans shoes and glide on the kitchen tiles like a figure skater. He de-stresses by riding his ATV, that he nicknamed “the Beast,” or by cleaning his other favorite toy, his F-150. One afternoon, he wanted to show off his souvenir shirt he had bought from a recent trip. He washed it, and it shrunk severely, yet he still strutted around the house with the bottom of the shirt barely reaching the middle of his beer belly, exposing his midriff. Also, I have seen my father carefully tear the last paper towel on the roll in half so that he would not have to get a new roll. If he gets lucky and grabs the second to last paper towel, he sighs in relief.

My mother has many childlike qualities as well. She is used by my 16 year old brother as a wrestling dummy. After a loud thud shakes the house, she can be heard laughing and screaming, a direct conclusion of the frog splash, a wrestling move. She loves to pose in pictures and always flashes the peace sign, no matter how many times I have told her how un-cool it is. Recently, she said she was going to invite my boyfriend to dinner. Me being single, I turned around in confusion, only to see my mother pointing to a monkey in the newspaper.

My parents never lost the inner child in them. Along with maturity and responsibility, they have kept their childlike qualities alive. They have taught me to lighten up, let loose, and not get so consumed by the circumstances of adult life. We all choose how we respond to life. My parents have chosen to see the humor in it and their childlike antics have made my home a place that is hard to be in a bad mood in. Negativity is almost impossible when practical jokes are a daily occurrence, which is why I believe we should never lose our childlike qualities. My parents have set great examples for my siblings and me to appreciate our youthfulness and remember to be carefree.