Do you remember when you were a little boy or a little girl? Do you remember when the most important part of your day was catching lightning bugs?
You remember, you’d get a Mason jar out, punch a bunch of holes in the metal lid, put a little grass in the bottom and head for the backyard. You’d run from one side of the yard to the other chasing the elusive lightning bugs. When the night was over, you’d place that jar beside your bed, turn out the lights and stare at the jar. You were amazed as the jar lit up every time a lightning bug flashed its colorful light. It was neat to enjoy something so sweet, innocent and carefree.
Then you’d fall off to sleep, dirty feet and all, without a care in the world. The next morning, you’d awake to find a stinky jar of wilted grass and fizzed-out lightning bugs sitting beside your bed. Life was carefree. You’d simply toss out the lightning bugs and move onto something else. Do you remember?
Think of a time when all you wanted was one of those, I believe they called them Suzie Bake Ovens, a G.I. Joe, a Tonka truck, a little red wagon, a Barbie Doll or a Daisy BB gun. Or when playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, hide and seek and building a sheet tent was fun. We even thought dodge ball was fun, except when we got hit in the face. Do you remember?
It’s sad being a child doesn’t last longer. As an adult, I find myself reminiscing and missing the things I did as a child. And to be quite honest, I’d be afraid to do half the stuff I did as a child.
You know, like riding a balloon tire bike without any brakes, climbing a tree to the highest point or peddling my bike past the meanest dog on the block. Behind every adult today stands the somewhat weathered face of a yesterday child. A yesterday child is someone who has grown up on the outside as time – years and the elements have managed to age their exterior – but remains the same person they were when they were 10 but without the nerve and too much pride.
As an adult, you need to remember how to have fun. Most of us are so stressed with the day-to-day stresses of life that we can’t even manage, or don’t remember, how to have fun.
The moral of this story is that you as an adult must let your hair down and remember what is what like when you were a child. To see a grown man or woman laughing and screaming like a little child may seem strange at times to most of us, but in reality, it’s good for the heart and soul to just remember how to have innocent fun.
Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.