Three of my seven grandchildren share my birth month, which… I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kind of odd. Anyway, this young one recently turned 10.
This summer his bare legs and toes will race thru lawn sprinklers, peddle his birthday bike and chase his brother around the house. He will go to church, shoot water pistols, play baseball, tease his sister, read books, go to the park and play army with his best bud. And once in a while, when she’s not looking, he will experiment with a wad of modeling clay and his mother’s smart phone.
I love the age of 10-ish. There is childhood innocence and the beginning of adult understanding all rolled into one awesome, action-packed being. You can have silly conversations about modeling clay hanging out of your nose one minute and heartfelt words about a great book the next.
There is wonder and awe in things adults don’t give a second thought to. And there’s belief in whatever great thing is dreamt of, is a thing that can be done…. a world of endless possibility.
I remember my 10-ish years… kind of. We roller skated a lot… metal skates with straps around your ankle and a special key to tighten the griper thingy around the toe of your shoe. But the favorite way to use these marvelous devices was to take a board, place it crosswise on one skate, hike to the top of a steep hill, then fly down on your belly or behind or knees or, if you were really brave, by balancing on the board standing up. We were the “original” skateboarders, baby.
I had a lot of scraped elbows and knees in those days. And I didn’t care. I felt free and loved going fast… which my sons will never believe based on the way I drive my car.
But eventually you grow up.
You get “sensible”. It’s best to follow the rules… stuff away the crazy ideas. The more locked in to sensible you get, the more the outlandish, “what if?” thought process fades away.
Not all people do that, but I suspect a whole bunch do.
I hope my grandchildren won’t forget what they dreamt of at 10. I hope as the future gets closer, they will keep an eye on that big idea from way back when… and bring it along with them. And if they lose track of the big idea… at least bring along the enthusiasm. Because I’m beginning to wonder if that thing that made us laugh and feel giddy… like we could conquer the world if we did it… is the very reason we exist.