“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”C.S. Lewis
I turned 28 last week, and for the past four years, I’ve had the same birthday wish: I wish I can keep being a kid at heart.
For me, being a kid represents curiosity, creativity, playfulness, joy, fearlessness, and simplicity. It’s a reminiscent of the sparks of happiness we felt when experiencing something for the first time: your first video game, your first crush, your first trouble in school, your very first album.
It’s the happiness of feeling a new experience that looks trivial, an admiration of the mundane.
Being a kid is being an optimist. It’s a world of naive faith where heroes win, and good magic exists. A period of time in our life when we actually believe that, if we think about it hard enough, we’ll probably have superpowers when we wake up tomorrow.
Being a kid is being bold. It’s about having the curiosity, courage, and aspiration to try new things just to see what happens. It’s when you climbed that tree just to see what it looks like from up there, or when you try to learn to ride a bike for and skinned your knee the first time.
Being a kid is being constantly fascinated. It’s the nights when you’re feeling too giddy to go to sleep because you finally beat the Final Fantasy boss fight after trying dozens of times, or when you’re replaying the scene of your crush talking to you at school.
As we grow up, we start accepting dullness, thinking it’s part of life. Part of “adulting”. We say no to things that lit our eyes about because of fear, worry, or ego. We lose excitement on little things because we feel like we’ve seen it all. We stop looking for surprises.
We’ve heard stories about old people being nostalgic about when they’re young, and young people being sentimental about how good it was when they were kids. We continuously try to grab onto the fragments of youth as we age, and it’s natural.
I’m saying this from a very privileged position. Not every child has a great or memorable childhood. It’s not perfect, and so is the world. But being a kid also means being vulnerable.
Just as a kid is sensitive and fragile to the evil of the world, so it is to the good. It’s receptive to kindness and love to see other people find happiness. That’s why subreddits like r/mademesmile, r/humansbeingbros, and r/happycryingdads are popular
A kid is curious. A kid is enthusiastic. A kid is imaginative. A kid is vulnerable.
I look forward to keeping being a kid at heart for the rest of my life.