I was a little thrown off guard when my seven year old asked me Saturday afternoon, “Are you a grownup or adult?” I wasn’t sure what to think of the question at first. So I asked for clarification “What do you mean?” He went on to show me the book he was reading (one of the many Captain Underpants books he’s gotten from his school library) and there was a picture of a presentation type poster board showing that “Adults = three peanuts” and “Grownups = one screw + one baseball”. There was no further explanation given, but he knew there must be a difference between being an adult and a grownup since his book used both terms.
To be honest, I kind of recoiled in shock when he used the word grownup. I think I audibly gasped when he suggested that I might be one. I don’t know if you’ll agree with my explanation or not, but this is how I broke it down for him.
An adult is responsible but still a kid at heart.
A grownup takes themselves too seriously and has forgotten how to have fun.
Jesus compares the kingdom of God to the faith of a child. For me, faith involves childlike imagination, risk, and humble dependence. Grownups trade in optimism for cynicism and call it being pragmatic. Maybe I’m over thinking it. Maybe I’m reading into it too much. While everyone should aspire to be a responsible, contributing member of society, I believe everyone should strive to remain a child at heart. That’s my goal at least.
Our seven year old son flew out of Charlotte by himself yesterday. I don’t know how I feel about it. I am overwhelmed with a slew of emotions when I think about him flying across the country and spending two weeks with my parents (one week per set of parents) – alone.
I wasn’t worried about the flying part of the trip. He’s been traveling to California since he was nine months old and has flown at least a dozen times round trip since then. I know that he’s mature enough to fly solo – he knows how to behave on an airplane. I guess it comes down to me being a little freaked out that I have a seven year old who is mature enough to fly solo. In all of twenty seconds my thoughts race from flying solo to him going to middle school, high school, and then leaving home for college.
During our nighttime prayer and cuddle time I cried as I prayed for traveling mercies for his flights and his time in California. He comforted me as best he could when I told him that he’s growing up too fast. “I’ll still love you when I’m older,” he said. “I know, but it will be different when you’re big and out of the house,” I replied. “That’s like eleven or twelve years away, Mommy. And I’ll come visit you every day.” I cried harder, because I knew he meant it. Just like I meant it when I told my dad I would always hang out with him, no matter how old I was.
I don’t have any poignant ending to this post. I just wanted to share what’s on my heart. I’m not familiar with the readers of this blog, yet. I don’t know who’s in the audience. But if you can relate or have any words of wisdom to share, I’d greatly appreciate it.