Today, my wife is celebrating a milestone birthday. She’s declared it to be the beginning of her second childhood. We’re having a party and those guests who bring presents are encouraged to bring toys. There’ll be a barbeque and our daughters are baking the cake. It should be a fun time!
Kumie likes to point out that although this is the beginning of her second childhood, she’s never really grown up, so the second childhood is starting just as the first one ends!
In fact, Kumie and I have always tried to keep a sense of fun and adventure in our lives. We’ve both collected toys, read books, and watched movies that appealed not only to our children but our own inner children as well. This isn’t to say that life has been all fun and games. There have been plenty of difficult times, too, and hopefully we haven’t behaved too childishly during those, but often its a sense of hope and optimism that sees us through.
I find it interesting that this particular milestone occurs as our oldest daughter prepares to embark on her college career. She’s had a lot of questions about why we made the choices we did as she sets about making her own life choices. When I was her age, I was interested in both writing and astronomy. I decided to pursue the latter, even though I arguably found math and science more challenging at the time. That said, I saw more opportunities to write with a physics degree than there were opportunities to explore space with an English degree. Since that time, technology and the arts have come together in many fascinating ways and my daughter hopes to explore that combination. I find myself wondering what choices I’d make if the choices open to her now had been open to me then.
Despite my musings, I can’t say I set myself on a terrible path. I do get to explore the universe in my “day” job at Kitt Peak. I get to play pretend as a writer. Although “free time” sometimes seems a rare luxury, both avocations do afford me a measure of fun. Here’s hoping you’re having fun, whether you’re on a first or second childhood, or somewhere in between!