Friday, April 23, 2010

The Privileges of Childhood

Have you ever been in a long boring meeting and wished you could just put your head down on the conference table and do this?

Ah, the privileges of childhood. You don’t have to force yourself into a particular schedule, eat at a certain time, even go to sleep at a certain time. When you’re hungry, you eat. When you’re tired, you sleep. And if you’re lucky, you can even do both at the same time.
Life is pretty tough for a baby. You can’t tell anyone what you need, most of the time you can’t get it for yourself, you’re dependent on others to feed you, clothe you, take you places, and change your diapers. There’s not much freedom there. But you are free to obey your body’s impulses. That’s not a bad tradeoff, when you think about it. How often have you thought to yourself, “I would love to take a nap right now, but I can’t”? Or, “I’m hungry, but I shouldn’t eat because it’s not lunchtime yet”? Or even, “I really have to pee, but I’d better finish this project before I take a bathroom break”? Babies never have to worry about that. Hungry? Cry and someone will generally feed you on the spot. Have to pee? That’s what diapers are for, go ahead and let loose. Tired? Doesn’t matter where you are, just lay down your head and off to sleepy-land. And believe me, kids can sleep anywhere. A friend of mine told me his son had once fallen asleep on horseback. No, not a merry-go-round horse, an actual horse.

What a fabulous privilege!

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