When I grow up

Neoteny, one of my favorite words, means the retention of childlike attributes in adulthood: idealism, experimentation and wonder. In this new world, not only must we behave more like children, we also must teach the next generation to retain those attributes that will allow them to be world-changing, innovative adults who will help us reinvent the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Joi Ito


When I grow up I’ll invent make a big mess day, where you don’t have to clean up your project till you are all done and making a mess is expected.

When I grow up I’ll let curiosity be my trusty guide. I’ll remember how it feels to have your own burning questions and not even want an answer; just want a way to discover.

When I grow up I’ll remember how not to worry about making mistakes and how I did everything I loved without self-judgment. I’ll remember how I could be a ballerina, an artist and a scientist all in the same day.

When I grow up, I’ll remember how to be kooky and silly. I’ll remember after being silly it is a piece of cake to settle down.

When I grow up, I’ll remember the black journal I saved my money to buy and how excited I was to fill it with my learning when I got to “real” school.

When I grow up I am going to remember to never take myself or my job too seriously. I’ll remember how it is possible to move on when something does not work out my way.

When I grow up I’ll remember the things I love to do are the things I need to do, everyday. I’ll remember those things are the things that make life delicious, delectable and possible.

When I grow up I’ll remember how my enthusiasm and curiosity sometimes made me loud, rambunctious and full of energy. I’ll remember how enthusiasm looks and feels and embrace it on the spot with open arms.

When I grow up I’ll remember to daydream, imagine and create. I’ll remember how big my dreams were and are. I’ll remember how vivid my imagination was and is. I’ll remember how easy it was to create.

When I grow up, I’ll remember.
What will you remember when you grow up?


2 thoughts on “When I grow up

  1. Love the message, love the video.

    What’s worse, growing up or growing old. Nothing wrong with growing, right.

    Experimentation… Accepting that since we’re responsible, most of the consequences are just messy, not dangerous. I had the opportunity to play (I mean work) with my son in the big puddle at the end of the driveway, dealing with Spring thaw, and helping the boats (twigs) find their way to the open sea sewer). Thank God for kids, who let us enjoy childhood for a second time.

    • Hi Thomas, I think we all grow yes. Growing old is a fact of life (as a biology teacher) but I hope we can keep our mindset young 🙂 I really thought about how some of the “standard things” I hoped for “when I grow up” I have realized are not all I imagined (and wanted). Do you think in our culture we are a bit obsessed with getting kids to grow up but in a misguided way? For example give up their curiosity in the name of convenience, maybe we have to redefine what “growing up” looks like?
      Yes so agree, children are a gift to see and experience all the small and important joys of life.
      Thanks for the comment and keep playing…umm…working away!

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