Dye your hair, rid yourself of wrinkles, enhance your energy etc. Everywhere you turn, you see some sort of advertisement whose stated goal is to make you look or feel younger.
We live in a culture where there is a drive to be young. While I wish I had a full head of hair, when I wonder what it would be like to be younger again, it has nothing to do with the physical.
This morning, my oldest son, BR, came downstairs. He looked at my wife and I who were sitting and talking on the couch discussing our daily plans like football coaches game planning for the upcoming foe. He had a smirk on his face even as he was wiping the tired out of his eyes
“It’s tomorrow, today,” he said.
He said it a second time, and that seemed to be his whole message. He was excited for the trip we have planned to a water park later in the week. Youthful enthusiasm.
SJ, his younger brother, will be celebrating his 5th birthday in November. It’ll be his first birthday party at which we will include his friends. He’s talking about this party incessantly and invites and uninvites on a regular basis.
According to SJ, the birthday is tonight, and it should have been every night of the last two weeks. This morning I showed him a calendar. We sang the months of the year song that he learned in school. I then showed him that there are many days until his birthday.
He nodded his head indicating that he understood. Skip a beat. A moment later, he informed us that his birthday party was tonight. Palm slap right to my head. This kid ain’t gettin’ it.
But then I realized why he is not getting it – it’s about youthful enthusiasm. It’s tomorrow, today.
Both boys are experiencing pure and utter joy – like only the young can. Beautiful, just beautiful!
So, while I really would love that full head of hair, I want what my children have. We adults no longer experience the pure and utter joy of youthful enthusiasm.
I hope my boys can retain that joy of youthful enthusiasm for as long as possible, and I’ll be content to live vicariously through them.
A version of this first appeared on Me, Myself and Kids. Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash
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