May 4

It's never too late to
have a happy childhood.



Today's Meditation:

One of the traits of children that have gone through difficult childhoods is that they grow up far too fast, that they have to become responsible before they should have to, that they leave their childhoods behind far too early.  I went through that, and it's a common trait of Adult Children of Alcoholics, as one example.  But one of the myths of our society is that once you're "grown up," there's no more room in life for the things and thoughts and feelings of childhood.  Nothing could be further from the truth, though--personally, I love allowing myself to live out much of my childhood in my adult years.

It took me quite a few years to allow myself to do this, but now that I can do it, I feel great.  It's important to know what having a happy childhood is not, of course--it's not shirking responsibility or throwing tantrums or ditching work on a lark or eating whatever we want whenever we want to do so.  As adults we have people who depend on us, people who need us to live up to our responsibilities, and being happy does not include disappointing other people who have every right in the world to depend on us to certain extents.

What it does mean is making sure that you deviate from your path so that you can walk through the fallen leaves that the wind has blown into a pile.  It means making a beeline for the swings when you pass a playground.  Or it means buying that bottle soapy water so that you can blow bubbles in the breeze and watch them float away.  It means trusting people and accepting them unconditionally.  It means making sure that you look at everything in the bakery and think of how good it all would taste before you decide exactly what you're going to have.

It means whatever you know in your heart it should mean.

Childhood is too wonderful to be limited to children.  Just because there are many misguided adults out there who frown on others being childlike doesn't mean that I can't reclaim an important piece of my spirit.  I know that I'll never have the chance to go through a second childhood in my later years, because I'm still living my first one, and enjoying the heck out of it.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people frown on adults doing childlike things?

Think of some of the things that were the most fun when you were a kid.  Would they be fun to do now?  Do you do them?

What benefit would it have for others if you were to enjoy yourself immensely now and then doing something just for fun?

For further thought:

Part of me is still waiting to grow up, to be an adult,
and the other part knows there is no such thing.

Richard Dreyfuss


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