Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A child’s lesson

I am a child.

Grey hair, wrinkles, and an aging body are more apparent with each dawn. Lessons unexpected and sometimes self-inflicted impart knowledge unknown when a younger world. Yet, even now I remain astonished at rocket ships that touch comets; flung from millions of miles colliding in distances of blackness I cannot fathom. Head back straining to see, I stand mouth agape in awe of magnificent redwoods whose fingers touch the face of God. I cry and cheer for epic undertakings of movie-star heroes where good guys are virtuous and evil is always vanquished. “And they lived happily ever after…” is still a hope.

I remain so much the Child.

Dizzy days of rolling down grassy hills to lie upon my back and point out animals in the clouds exist no more, replaced with burdens of responsibility from morning alarm beyond day’s last light. I yearn to play, scheduling it between doctor appointments and grocery shopping. I mourn the loss of simpler times when boo-boos were made “all better” with a kiss and a cookie. In today’s runabout world, it is a six-pack, extra servings, or “comfort foods” to soothe my hurts. My adult knows I must change - but not today. For the young, there are countless tomorrows remaining for such undertakings; now is for extravagance.

The grown-up in me hears the ticking clock and insists there is no time for childish errors. My internal dialogue berates me: “Will you never learn? You’re old enough to know better. You should be ashamed.” Poison insults no teacher would ever utter, I hurl as stabbing weapons at myself, unforgiving, relentless, grinding, wounding. Alas, if guilt and shame were motivational, success would be mine today. Another thing I forget, so many lessons still to realize.

No matter how many years I traverse my path; I will trip up and sometimes fall. That is what children do. So much lies ahead and I desperately want to be “there” already. It is important to remember that guidance - not condemnation - illuminates the road. Loving praise for changes I have made, patience for what the future might bring, and support for what I am going through now will beckon a better way.

Curious, hurriedly, sometimes lost - and repeatedly stumbling - I am still very much a child needing to be reminded to stay the course.

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