Act Your Age

To my loves,

Please don’t ever stop acting your age. Don’t grow up too quickly. Margot, you are two and you will do things that a two year old does. Recently, Margot, you’ve entered a phase we’ll call the “I’ve-figured-out-I-can-try-to-manipulate-my-parents” stage (Bernie Max, you’ll hit this milestone in a couple of years!). Bedtime is when you display your best work. In the end you went to sleep, but it has been a task. Then you woke up early the next mornings and that wasn’t the best thing either.

During this phase I’ve struggled with how to address what is happening and have spent more time than I should looking at blogs, researching information online and have even thought about enrolling in a psychology class to see if that might shed some light on the situation. Then something switched in my brain and I realized you are acting your age. I smiled and cherished the moment.

I need to be reminded that you are normal and I am a normal parent. When you act your age you remind me of that reality. You’ve become so entrenched in this phase that you aren’t just acting your age at home — you display it out in the world, too! Most of those actions aren’t deemed “socially appropriate” and will cause attention — but I want you to do them anyway. The world needs to see how two-year olds act. I need to see how a two-year old acts because we are too focused one everyone acting a certain way that it is destroying our development. Here’s my invitation: don’t stop acting your age as you grow up.

Don’t get me wrong; your actions are going to make your parents and those around you anxious so be prepared for that. In response I’ll do my best to remember that sometimes you are just acting your age. (Sometimes you aren’t and that’s when we will call you out!) So, when you are an elementary school do things that kids do at that age (within reason!) and when you are a teenager, act like a teenager. And, please, throughout your life don’t listen to others when they tell you to grow up — that can wait and may never be necessary.

What happens when you act your age is that adults and others around us are reminded of the realities of being a kid. I pray we see the joy and excitement you offer the world.

I also hope that when we see you acting your age we are reminded that we can’t change how another acts. We can create environments whereby we help you maintain healthy boundaries and lifestyle choices — and we’ll do that — but we also realize that you are going to act your age and that’s the best gift you can give the world. Here’s to all of us acting our age!

Xoxo,

Your adoring father.