Thinking Like a Kid
The weather was hot yesterday, and I was rooting through boxes in the attic to locate a pair of binoculars. As I sorted my junk, several trinkets reminded me of days gone past.
I filled one small box with achievement ribbons, and there was a blue one for the science fair experiment. I won first place. Then there was an enormous pile of old homework I should have tossed years ago. Yeah, I still did not throw it out. I am such a packrat…
This trip down memory lane reminded me of what it was like as a kid. I had so much hope, yet I knew nothing about life. I solved all my problems with passion and not logic. Yet I sure thought I knew everything. In fact, I was positive I knew everything.
As I sweated and cursed to myself for not being able to find the binoculars, I began thinking about how much I had grown since writing that homework. Then I saw an old school picture that reminded me of my kindergarten playground.
That environment was rough, fun, confusing, and an enormous learning experience. For example, playing with big bouncy balls taught coordination. Kids solved issues by yelling or fighting. Girls were hard to talk to, no matter what I did.
Yet there were many BIG questions. Why was the adult in charge of the playground so strict? Why were the older kids so mean? Why can’t the younger kids stop following me around? Why does that bully keep taking my lunch money? Why did I get in trouble when the other kid did not? Why do we only get 30 minutes on the playground?
I stopped momentarily to wipe away the sweat and thought, “Well, at least I am an adult now.” Meaning that I know these answers. Right? Adults no longer have playgrounds. We have BATTLEGROUNDS! Tanks, planes, guns, The United Nations, laws, judges, lawyers, talk shows, the internet, banks, and Amazon! We can do anything, and it will always be correct. Why? Because we are adults! And if you dislike it, you will go to your room without supper!
Yet, there is the Ukraine war. Why did it start? Why has it not stopped? What is the difference between now and my playground? Clearly, adults have sage wisdom and solve problems diplomatically.
Well, hold on. Not ALL adults have sage wisdom. Just like kids, we make mistakes too. But we would never think like a bunch of school kids arguing over whose turn it is on the swing. Right?
Now, I had stopped rooting through all my junk and tried to prove that I was indeed better than the younger me. My old homework certainly proved that I was an adult. 2+2=4 I know that now. Check! Yes, I am indeed an adult.
Then I took a moment to invent a circumstance to prove I (and others) was an adult. A man makes a terrible choice resulting in a stolen car. He gets caught and faces trial. There, his lawyer argues against the prosecutor while being mediated by an impartial judge, and a jury decides his punishment. A straightforward and logical process. This is how adults do it, not like a screaming match over a swing.
Yet… Not all trials are just, and the result never satisfies all parties. Take the person who got their car stolen. Does the jury make the car thief drive the victim around until they return their vehicle? No. How is that just or fair?
Want more proof? If the jury declares the defendant guilty, does the judge force the thief to apologize? No. Yet, the kindergarten yard monitor always forced kids to apologize even when they had done nothing wrong.
What does that mean? It means society is not as advanced as we think it is. And the tragic Ukraine war provides the proof. Here is a full summary of the situation. One kid wanted to play on the swing while another was on it. Then, a fight broke out.
Where is the yard monitor to break up the fight? Why don’t lawyers, judges, prosecutors, the police, talk shows hosts, insurance companies, YouTube influencers (I hate that word), banks, and Amazon step in to break up the fight? Not their job? Ha! That’s a cop-out answer. All the people in charge are adults. (Except YouTube influencers. We universally agree they are bratty kids.) It is an adult’s job to act mature and do adult stuff. Yet…
I did not find my binoculars and left the attic loaded with sweat and dust. I felt awful because my homework reminded me that while part of me had developed into an adult, I had a long way to go.
So, I took a shower and then looked in the mirror. “Those grey hairs do not prove maturity.” Yet, sometimes it is fun to think like a kid. Go to the beach and swim in the waves without a care.
As a parent, I do not want to think like a kid. I have responsibilities, and they require solid decisions. Yet, I cannot avoid immaturity. I do not know why I cannot switch off the adolescent part of my mind, and the worst part is that I cannot even tell when it is occurring.
What can I do? Like any dilemma, I can only do my best and try to learn from my mistakes. The problem is that I find myself on that same kindergarten playground when push comes to shove.

You’re the best -Bill
August 02, 2023
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