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The Hard Truth About Becoming A ‘Grown Up’

Becoming An Adult

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I don’t know who said it, and I never expect anyone to agree with it . . . until they truly realize that they are an adult.

Am I angry with young people or kids? Do I think they are squandering their carefree days?

Absolutely not! In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. I think that they are forced to give up their youth way too quickly.

As the parent of three kids, all of which were born under completely different circumstances, I am just now understanding how important it is to let our kids be kids.

I understand the importance of education at an early age, and think its great that kids are learning things earlier than ever. Their brains are sponges, thirsty sponges, that are dying for more knowledge. Giving them what they need academically actually supports them being a kid longer, because it helps boost creativity.

Think about it . . . when was the last time you were in a plane? Did you stare out the window for pretty much all of the flight, amazed at what you saw?

WHY NOT?! You’re FLYING FOR CHRISSAKE! And don’t let me hear you say that you had kids with you, but gave them an iPad or something to occupy the time!

Kids are the only people around who have the ability to find what’s truly amazing in the things we pretend to ignore.

Here is a little personal experience for you. I have a 6 year old boy who has a stuffed bear he’s had since birth. The bear’s name is Bear, and I don’t think that my boy and Bear have spent 24 hours apart from each other in a row. Bear is his best friend, and everyone in our family knows that Bear is a part of our family.

He knows that Bear is not real, and has taken the time to tell my wife and I that Bear is only made of stuffing. He did tell me once though, in the strictest of confidence (so you have to promise not to tell anyone else, OK?) that sometimes when he closes his eyes, or when he is asleep, that Bear might move on his own a little.

I was shocked. More than my shock though was an overwhelming feeling of happiness. It showed that my boy still had the ability to create his own world. A talent that is frowned upon as an adult, unless you are multimillion dollar producing director.

I could go on all day about my kids, and how proud they make me… or the never ending mistakes that I make as a parent, but this isn’t about that.

This is about appreciating a kids unique ability to be a kid without it being squashed by a world forcing them to settle down, be quiet, LISTEN or my favorite… stop acting like a little kid and behave like a big boy/girl.

My favorite quote is, “Youth is wasted on the young” but I don’t know if I use it the same way that the author meant it. I think youth is wasted because the young are never taught to embrace it. Adults spend so much time preparing kids to be big boys and girls that we forget to let kids learn the valuable lessons that they are teaching themselves.

I’ll end with two memes that sum up the way I feel about this whole article. The first one isn’t nearly as sad as the second, but they both get the point across.

It’s extremely possible that I may go back and read this in 5-10 years and laugh at how stupid I was or how much I disagree with everything that I wrote, but you know, by then I’ll be waaaaay smarter and probably know even more of everything that I know now right?

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