For a while now, I’ve been pondering what it means to be a grown-up. I pay bills, live on my own, am in graduate school, turning 23 in two weeks, and getting married in 3 weeks. But I also still like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate milk, I draw in church, make messes, and sometimes throw “temper tantrums”. I am naturally curious and can’t sit still for long periods of time.
What does it mean to be an adult? Do I have to put all childlike ways behind me, hide the peanut butter, and learn how to be organized? Do we some day suddenly cross the bridge from childhood to grown-up land and then “poof!” we are now mature?
This morning in church, I noticed the sweetness and playfulness of the children around me. One girl shook my hand during the greeting time by pulling my arm up and down with great vigor. Another little boy asked if he could use one of my colored pencils. Another child who sat in front of my calmly drew through the whole service, content with his pencil and scrap paper.
There is something that children have that should not be lost or abandoned in the quest for adulthood. Imagination. Curiosity. The ability to be content and satisfied with the ordinary. Joy. Shameless snuggling with parents, and fearless smiles and questions.
I hope that in my journey of maturation that I don’t loose the wonderment of a child. Perhaps I could do without the temper tantrums and maybe at least learn how to clean up my messes when I make them, but maybe I still have a lot to learn from the ways of a child.