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.