I believe in the future. The future contained in the minds of children. I have three nephews all under the age of three and a half years old and each equipped with beautiful brown eyes and a diamond studded soul. They are my playmates, confidants, and greatest comfort. We have been on hundreds of legendary voyages, but our favorite game to play together is Peter Pan. They take turns being Peter Pan and various lost boys, but I am always the nasty villain, Captain Hook. We begin the game by dressing up and flying to Never Land through the front door of grandma’s house and out into the epic adventures that await us in the back yard. Our vessel, for this fantasy, is not really sea worthy, but more of an excellent fencing arena: my trampoline. We soar, stab, swing, and dodge all over, until the Lost Boys and Peter Pan can trap me and decide whether to feed my hand to a crocodile, or tell me to leave Never Land forever. Although we always know who will win the battles, our perfect fantasy world is never boring.
Love is so important in their world. Their ability to accept people never ceases to amaze me. Not a visit ends without three sloppy kisses and a colossal bear hug. Likewise when we are walking down the sidewalk, we never pass a stranger without offering a smile and an affectionate hello. In their eyes there are no races or different levels of economic status or beauty, simply people, god’s children, all waiting to love and be loved. Kael, the second oldest, is my step nephew and only spends half of his time with our side of the family, due to split custody. He is in a bad situation and his birth mother is very harmful to his mind and body. When asked where his mother is Kael always answers, “Mommy is at work.” Kael’s mother has nothing, and wants nothing, to do with his life, yet Kael loves her with every particle of his soul, and affectionately gives her, and only her, the honor of the name mommy. I trust there is nothing she could ever do to make herself unworthy of his love, and in Kael’s mind she loves him as much as he loves her. Inside Kael’s thoughts things are exactly as they should be.
Little boys are rowdy, exhausting, and crazy, but how else can we expect to have fun? I have heard people say they worry because children are our future, but I am glad my future is in their tiny hands. I would gladly see one of their brave spirits change the world. I wish I could live only in the future they envision, rather than the one adults have created. Someday, I hope, they will be able to create the world they imagine, so I can spend the rest of my life with them, in Never Land.