Whenever my sons laugh until they fall over, disappear into a make-believe game or run across the room to hug me, I’m reminded of the glory of childhood.
One of the greatest things about being a parent is the constant reminder of what is so awesome about being a kid.
And while I realize that nobody is stopping me from doing any of these things now that I’m a grown-up, there is a very specific joy to being a little boy that I truly do not think can be duplicated in adulthood.
With that in mind, I offer a list of fifteen things my two little boys have, of which I’m insanely jealous.
1. Body Pride
Lying on the couch completely naked while eating freeze-dried strawberries and watching Curious George, all while giving exactly zero craps who sees you or what they think.
2. A Chauffeur
Having somebody drive you everywhere you want to go, while you sit in the back seat with a juice box and marvel at every passing attraction, from a line of crows on a wire to a crane lowering lumber into a building.
Playing with the same friend every single day for two weeks, and never worrying whether he’s sick of you yet.
4. Glorious Naïveté
Watching Scooby-Doo and never questioning the logic of a shape-shifting, ice-shooting, floating monster who was all along just a guy in a costume.
5. An Open Heart
Hugging without fear.
6. A Rich Fantasy Life
Standing on the arm of the couch and launching yourself, belly-first, onto the cushions while yelling “Suuuupermaaan!”
7. Emotional Freedom
Cry whenever, wherever, for whatever reason, if necessary. Having a massive tantrum when everything just feels bad and terrible and unfixable.
8. Boundless Creativity
Endlessly inventing impossible questions, such as: “What would happen if a tiger fought a shark?” or “If I were born on Mars, would I still be friends with Jake?” and “If this road were made of Jell-O, would we be able to drive on it?”
9. Limitless Faith
Believing in Santa and other magical, benevolent creatures who deliver gifts in the middle of the night.
10. Brutal Honesty
The ability to put food in your mouth and spit it out if it tastes bad, with minimal social consequence.
11. Unbridled Glee
Screaming and jumping up and down with joy over minor events, like going out for pizza or a trip to Toys R Us.
Falling asleep on the couch and being carried into bed, tucked in, and having your stuffed animals placed next to you exactly how you like them.
13. Emotional Security
Having a big, warm bed to climb into after a nightmare, with arms to hold you and tell you that everything is okay, and that you are safe.
14. Your Own Nightly Magical Wonderland
Stacks and stacks of beautifully-illustrated books, read to you in a soothing voice every single night before bed. Books that transport you to the magical island where the wild things are, to a farm where chickens unionize and cows know how to type, and a forest where children make terrible pets for bear cubs wearing tutus.
Having your only job be kindergarten.
Lead photo: Flickr/StuSeeger