To the little kids I can see outside my window running around on the playground 100 yards out:
Stay young as long as you can.
And even when your body grows older, and when you reach the point of life where I’m at right now—keep that same child-like mentality.
Just stay focused on your playground made of plastic and metal.
Don’t even look across the parking lot to my playground—the one made of brick and concrete and paper.
You swing across monkey bars and rush down slides. I walk past throngs of people with a backpack slung across my shoulders and climb up endless stairs.
Yet somehow, even though my playground is much duller than yours, I find that I’m having just as much fun.
Just walking around campus, with my own places to go and my own things to do, gives me a sense of independence that I didn’t have before. And maybe that’s what makes it fun—the independence that you must feel when you run amok and smile and laugh and have no worries in the world.
I guess I could learn another thing or two watching you do just this.
Maybe I can walk down memory lane—revert to a simpler time when, just like you, I had not a care in the world. When my brown hair splayed out behind me as I ran toward the swings at the beginning of recess and swung myself into a frenzy of fairytales and daydreams.
And I still think of those fairytales and daydreams today—still have that inner child in me.
And that’s all I ask of you, little one, as you neglect to cast your eyes toward the new residence hall towering over you.
Keep that inner child deep within your innocent heart.
As time ticks on, you’re going to need it.