My youngest is 7.
She turned 7 a few weeks ago but due to schedules and finances, we decided to wait a week or two in order to really pull off what she was wanting. Last month, my wife participated in the Foothills Bridal Extravaganza (if getting hitched is in the realm of possibility you should check out their site) in which a fashion show was going to take place. My wife was a cake vendor so there was a lot to break down after the show was over. I took the girls and after the show, we sat in the hotel’s restaurant while my wife wrapped up talking to a few different brides. Both girls went on about how fancy the hotel was and that I needed to behave. It was game over though when the youngest, Stinkbug, saw the pool. She immediately wanted to stay the night so she could go swimming.
This past weekend we were able to go. The wife had found some great package deals and we took full advantage. She got us on the top floor overlooking the airport. Stinkbug loves watching planes land and take off. She was mesmerized by all the lights later that night. Of course, we swam, she loved the lights in the bathroom and we spent our fair share of time in the hotel gift shop and an Executive Lounge where Stinkbug could eat all the cookies I’d allow her to have. Again, both girls were going on about how fancy it was. I don’t know the details but apparently, the top floor is called the ‘Executive’ floor so my wife kept saying, “Of course I’m an Executive”.
I’ve traveled, not a great deal, but enough to know that a hotel is a hotel is a hotel. Some offer better amenities than others but as long as the bed is comfortable and I can sleep through the night without hearing my neighbors then I call it a win. Bonus if there are eggs for breakfast the next morning. I’m often thinking of who I’m meeting or what’s going to happen at a meeting, etc. But as I lounged on the bed and watched my child run from one end of the room to the other … something hit me; it’s not that the hotel is really that different, but her perspective certainly is.
There’s a big difference between her 7-year-old self and her father who is staring down 40 this year. I don’t fear it at all, just that our minds are completely different. To a degree that difference is needed, but sometimes I wonder if we’re so busy being adults that we don’t miss some of the simple joys of this life. Why not see the adventure in the life we’re living?
After checkout, I had already arranged for us to go see a movie. I kept it a secret from all of them, even acting like I was on a phone call in order to through off their guess work. It wasn’t until we were walking into the theater that they figured out we were going to see Pete’s Dragon. It was one of my wife’s favorite movies growing up … she told me of how she cried and cried at the end of the original. I made an excuse to stop by the gift shop to buy some extra tissues before leaving the hotel so I was able to hand out packets once we got to our seats in the theater.
This movie was so well done. I’ll write a full review on it later but I didn’t miss the irony that the night before I was taking stock of my daughters own perspective. Now, I sit and watch a film that speaks of deep truths about loyalty, love, imagination, friendship, and believing in the magic and mystery of the woods and life itself.
I don’t believe in magic, but there is certainly something to the way a child looks at the world. They don’t have the baggage that we pick up. I stress, we pick up. Worrying about tomorrow does nothing but steal the joy of today. Why not enjoy the moment, eat a cookie, be an executive, and watch the lights dance across the airport tarmac? Kids are brutally honest and chase after their passions with zeal. Have we lost this? Have we given up because our passion didn’t make enough money or we thought we wouldn’t be any good at it?
So, in the spirit of my 7-year-old Stinkbug, I have a new appreciation for the wonder of this world. I invite you to be a little crazy and slip on the kid tinted glasses of your youth. Who knows, you just might enjoy it!