Don’t You Ever Grow Up!

I have made a few realizations, lately, that have caused me to take a step back and re-evaluate my priorities. This happens a lot in my world! One of the same old realizations was that I spend too much time worrying about too many things that aren’t that important. My children and my wife are the most important thing in life. And life is moving extremely fast! My children are growing up and I don’t want to miss out on it. Sometimes it takes painful, defining moments to bring that into perspective!

It’s a long drive but one I have grown to love. Indiana to Florida. Florida to Indiana. The scenery is constantly changing. It’s usually spring when I make this drive so the landscape is evolving before my eyes. There’s really nothing like it.

I love long drives because they give me time to think, dream & pray. If you ever pass me on the expressway, don’t be surprised to see me dawning sunglasses and iPhone earbuds, eyes focused on the road ahead, drowning the world out around me.

Last week, as I made the drive home from Florida, a song came across my play list by Taylor Swift. There’s a part in the song that goes like this:

You’re in the car on the way to the movies
And you’re mortified your mom’s dropping you off
At 14, there’s just so much you can’t do
And you can’t wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don’t make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she’s getting older, too
And don’t lose the way that you dance around
In your PJs getting ready for school
Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
No one’s ever burned you
Nothing’s ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Just try to never grow up.
[Lyrics taken from: http://www.elyrics.net/read/t/taylor-swift-lyrics/never-grow-up-lyrics.html]

Yesterday I was sitting in our dining room while my daughter and her friends worked on a school project, when suddenly, this song came to life.

One of the neighborhood girls, who is in 7th grade, asked my daughter if she would “be able to play” after school the next day. Keep in mind, she’s in 7th grade. Asking someone to “play” is not usual lingo for a middle school-aged kid. But the innocence of this little girl was precious.

The thought crossed my mind as I heard her question- at some point, some mean kid, who thinks he’s so cool, is going to hear her say something like that and make fun of her. Her feelings will be hurt and, mortified, she’ll never say the word “play” again! That innocence will be gone forever.

I glanced up at the 4 girls and desperately fought back tears. Silently in my heart I begged all 4- don’t you ever grow up! Remember this moment. Remember this innocence. Hold on to your child-like laughter. Embrace the freedom you have from this world. Never stop wanting to play.

Don’t you ever grow up!

Question: Have you ever experienced something like this with your children? How have you longed for their innocence to remain? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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