This I Believe

Catherine - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 14, 2007

There is a Child in Everyone

One summer afternoon, when I was about ten, my brothers and I were playing in our basement, building a fort while trying to avoid the heat. After we finished our masterpiece, we disrupted our mother from her cleaning while pleading her to come see our work of art. Our intention was to have her just look at it, but instead she crawled inside our two foot tall tent and explored every nook and cranny. For the rest of the afternoon, she amused herself with us in our fortress. That night at the dinner table, I told her that I hadn’t expected her to waste the rest of her afternoon, let alone fit inside our tent! Without hesitation, she replied, “There’s a kid in everyone, even me,” and left me there thinking.

My mother did this many times after this one summer afternoon, all the way from climbing a tree to sliding down the stairs in sleeping bags. Even my father would mention how my mothers’ childish soul kept him young. Years past and I was no longer ten anymore. As I grew up, so did my interests. My dolls and Barbies were soon given away (except for the ones my mother wanted to keep). Even though my youth was becoming my past, I could still play along with my brothers.

I have found one of the places where the fountain of youth hides. The amusement park is a cup full of joy. I’ve often found people over the age of fifty-five having the time of their lives on the highest point of a rollercoaster. Sadly, I sometimes hear adults tell their children, “You’re too old for that,” or “Grow up.” You are NEVER too old for something that involves fun. Personally, I think that people believe that as you grow older, life is no longer dynamic, but dreary. It is purely impossible to eliminate that child like nature in everyone. Those dreary people just need to find moments where they can say, “I feel like a child again.”

Some summer days, where I can find nothing else to do, I wander down into the basement of everlasting toys, revisiting my past interests including the immortal, plastic food and the Fischer price kitchen that had somehow been saved for my children. Other days my brothers beg me to help them build another one of our famous forts and like my mother, I would spend the rest of the afternoon, whiling away the hours in our tent.