How To Stay Young

A few weeks back, a boy at work tried to spell my name. “C-R-I-S-T-E-N,” he announced proudly.

“K,” I replied, “Kristen starts with a K.”

”Kristen, Ka, “C”, Ka,” he informed me.

Hard to argue with that logic.

“My mom’s birthday is this month too!” I excitedly told one of my girls this past March.

Her brow furrowed.

“… isn’t your mom dead?”

”No!” I responded, a bit too loudly. What a strange thing to assume.

“She must be really old then.” She went back to her game.

“Why would you think that?”

”Well, you are very tall.”


“so you must be old”


“and your mom is taller than you because she is your mom, so she must be even older!”

Doesn’t that make quite a bit of sense? She’s a young girl. The older kids at school are taller than her. The teachers are even taller than them. As we grow older, we grow taller.

To see the world through the eyes of a child, with confidence and doubtless convictions. To proudly call a plum a big grape in the play kitchen. To put your shoes on the wrong feet and walk right out the door.

As adults, we worry about everything. We use the right words but the wrong tone. A new friend guesses that we are a year or two older than we are, and we spiral, worrying that we look old. And suddenly, we are old.

We are no longer youthful. Youth implies finding joy in the little things and being right, even when you are not. But we are adults. We doubt ourselves constantly and live in fear of being wrong.

I feel lucky to work with children every day. It rubs off on you, the confidence and joy. I spend half of my day giggling at what the children say. Just yesterday, a boy pointed to himself and said boy, then he pointed to me and said girl. Next, he pointed to himself and said young, then he pointed to me and said old. He must be reading an “opposites” book at home.

A few months back I shared a post about spending time with people unlike yourself. My examples were people in my life who are much older than me. Today, I am telling you to spend time with kids. Learn from them! Remember, they are the pros at being young.

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