Last week you announced out of the blue and in a choking voice that you don’t want to grow up.
“I like it here. I love you and dad. I like being with you. . . I don’t want to move away.” You said it quietly, afraid to open the curtains on that deep, dark thought. The moment the words formed and fell from your lips, my stomach dropped and my heart broke, just like that. The room spun and I sucked desperately for air wishing, willing I had an answer. But like a receding wave, a shadow, it alluded me.
You see, this new dread you felt for the first time, the tug of years passing and the line to the horizon, I carried that with me for as long as I can remember. I watched Peter Pan and Hook, made costumes and Fairy Dust and read the words of Barrie all in the hopes of finding the secret to prolong the golden days of youth. While my friends counted the ways they wanted to be older and were precocious in countless ways, I hung back, afraid of what it would mean. Here, now, was comfortable and comforting. Growing older meant change and unknown and uncertainty. You, my boy, my planner, my eldest, shudder at the future for the questions it holds. I know. Oh, how I know.
But I also know something you do not. yet. I know that the fun lies in the discovery and change. Sure, there will be hard times and awkward transitions (see: puberty), but beyond each stumbling step is a glorious new view. There are hundreds, thousands of Eureka moments just waiting for you to arrive. Things that seem strange -shaving- or exciting -driving- will sparkle for a moment and then make up your every day so that you will forget what it was like before that. There are people to meet and love and lose and God’s call to answer. The change is the adventure.
That’s where Peter Pan missed out. His experience was the same day in and day out with the same people ALWAYS. That’s why he had to visit the nursery and visit the Darling’s. He needed the new and so do you.
Buddy, the fear of the future is not necessary because the Lord is with you and so are we. He goes before you, preparing the way and he has given us to you to walk by your side and keep your steps sure. You will never be alone.
The day after you voiced your wish, you turned 9. Your last year in the single digits. . . It’s all happened so fast. So let’s savor each second that’s ahead. Let’s take it head on, with eyes wide open and expecting the joy that is in store, straight on ’till morning.
We love you Max Man. So. Very. Much.