The Magic of Growing Up
As we grow up we tend to look into the past to a simpler time before we were overwhelmed with work and responsibility. We look back with a sense of reflection that overshadows our past glee; completely consuming our vision refusing to let us see the joy in our present time. Filling us with questions that follow us constantly dragging us down like a ball and chain through dreaded daily tasks… Why did I want to grow up so fast? Why did I think freedom meant being older? Why didn’t I just enjoy being a kid? Why can’t I go back to a time when I didn’t worry? We tend to wish nothing more than to see the world from the view of a child. When the colors seemed more vibrant, when joy was the only thing that welled within our tiny hearts, when our biggest fear was the harsh rain and thunder of a storm, when the world seemed kind and welcoming; beckoning us to play in the grass and lie in the shade, when the only consolation we needed was in the warm hug of a parent, when we thought dandelions were the utmost beautiful of flowers, when time was only measured in whether we had fun or not, when pain only existed in the scrapes upon our knees, and when forgiveness was as simple as saying sorry. When there was a sense of magic in our souls that went beyond our parent’s material world. That sense of magic strongest on Christmas day when we would wake up at the crack of dawn, when the sun was barely peeking over the horizon, we would throw our princess or truck-themed comforters to the foot of our beds and rush to our parents sleeping sides where we would tug persistently on their arms until they rolled out of bed with that knowing smile. We would sprint down the stairs nearly tripping; falling down in a ball of anticipation and excitement, we would burst into the living room with our parents groggily trying to keep up behind us. Then for a moment we would pause in the chaos to behold the most amazing site. A dazzling tree lit up with memories dangling from every branch and several precisely wrapped presents under the tree where only last night was the cold wooden floor. We were unaware of our parents behind us celebrating with a cup of coffee and a sense of their own magic twinkling in their eyes. We tend to forget to pause in our daily lives to behold what new magic awaits us. If we can step out of the noise around us full of expectations, stress, and responsibility we can remember why we really wanted to grow up. If we take a day off work and go to the busiest corner of our town, get a coffee, and sit and watch. I promise that not before long we’ll start seeing love everywhere. First in the young couple that will stroll by smiling and laughing. When the breeze picks up and the girl shivers, the boy will wrap his arm around her. Smiling she’ll say thanks and they’ll whisper I love you. Then in the mom with her child running to go to the toy store. When the child trips and falls in the excitement of getting a toy, the mother will sink down to the cold cement, cradle her baby, and kiss her head. Then she’ll pick her up and carry her the rest of the way even though she’s probably getting too big. Then within the old couple who will come and get out of the taxi. Even though the man is just as old and fragile as the women, he’ll run out first to reach the side of the door to assist his love out of the car. Then in the family walking by as they go out to lunch. The father who is pretending he’s not in pain from his son being hoisted up onto his shoulders, and in the mother trying to keep the baby happy. Then we’ll see the mother and father look at each other, just briefly, but long enough to see in their eyes beyond the tire, stress, and worry, but what is overpoweringly obvious, is happiness and love for the life they’ve created. And then we will notice that we paused to behold the twinkling of the store windows and the small gifts of love shared between people just like how we paused on Christmas not so long ago. A smile creeps on to our face as we think about times when the questions of regret ceased to exist because we were in the midst of love. We then realize that the magic of growing up was never really in the freedom but instead in the ability to create magic for others through love. We’ll call our friends to tell them to meet us downtown in hopes of reminding them as well. When they get there we’ll wrap our arms around each one and look into their surprised eyes; we begin to feel the rebirth of magic inside.