65 (70?) years old when we had the following conversation….
We were working together setting up scaffolding at my grandparent’s house. I was 16 years old, and somehow we were talking about what it felt like on the inside to be a 70-year-old man?
“Doug, he said, believe it or not, but I still feel like there’s a little kid who lives inside of me.”
Never had another adult ever been so vulnerable and let me in on that detail of their life.
All the adults in my life up until that point, wanted me to think they were grown up. In Charge. Important. They talked down to me, like I was a little kid…and yea, @ 16, I still felt like there was a little kid still living in me as well.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that by the time you hit 70 years of age, anything remotely resembling a little kid could still exist inside of a man.
What an amazing, magical, vulnerable thing for him to tell me.
At this point in his life, Lester had raised a family, had his share of heartache, farmed for 50 years, was collecting social security, and now worked part-time on a construction crew.
He always put me in mind as a Benjamin Franklin sort of guy…..
Wise, dignified, frugal, respected, a little on the stocky side. Never cussed (unlike me) and good-natured.
I was thinking about that conversation this morning.
Lester’s confession is still bearing fruit in my life 40 years later.
I have actively, intentionally, and without shame, continued to protect and nurture the little boy who lives inside of me.
(I’m not talking about multiple personality disorder here btw) 😉
So when I meet someone who thinks they are maybe just a cut above the rest of us, inside I’m secretly smiling…because it’ all a big game.
Little kids trying to one up each other.
I don’t care if you are the president or CEO of some multinational company, or nation for that matter.
The little kid does not have to go.
One last thought. My mom just turned 81 this year, and to talk to her, you’d think she has the spunk of a 16-year-old, and she has had her share of heartaches as well.
Just because you suffer doesn’t automatically mean the little kid inside has to die.
Are you in touch with the little kid that lives inside of you, or did you lose track of them @ some point along the way?
(I won’t tell anyone)