I used to think adults had things figured out. I used to think adults only had grown up conversations. I used to think adults always saw the whole picture and knew exactly what they were doing in life. Then I became one. (At least according to my 4 kids I’m an adult.)
In just about 2 weeks I turn 29 years old. Some of you will see me as young, some as old, and some as indifferent. Certain days I feel old and certain days I feel as though I’m in way over my head. I watched the Homerun derby the other night, and out of 8 participants only 3 were older than me, 1 the same age, and 4 younger than me. Young phenom Bryce Harper, who made it to the final pair in the derby, was still in elementary school when I graduated from high school. (On a side note, when Bryce started his pro career for the Hagerstown Suns I got to have a short conversation about fatherhood with his dad who pitched to him during the derby. It was a good conversation for another post.) I’m older than all of these elite pro athletes, so why don’t I feel like an adult? Maybe more importantly, why don’t I want to feel like an adult?
I guess before I answer that question for myself, I need to define what it means to be an adult.
Countless times I’ve sat in coffee shops working, writing, or reading only to get immensely distracted by the “adult” conversations around me. By “adult” I don’t mean the naughty bookstore type of conversation, I mean conversations about profit margins, tax returns, clients, pro forma, and career opportunities. I’ve heard the same conversation a hundred times from a hundred different strangers. The same word always comes to mind…BOOORRRRING!
I just started reading Jon Acuff’s new book Starter. Even though this book is about doing work that matters, it looks as though it’s going to give me some great inspiration and ideas on what it means to be an Intentional Father, so I’ll have something to write about again.
In the first chapter of this book, Acuff shares a story of his daughter comparing her great imagination to that of the great story teller and writer Roald Dahl, the writer of greats such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Acuff quickly points out that so quickly in this adult world we lose any sense of imagination and fall into the path set out before us. Let’s lose the path and start fresh. Shrug off the chains of conventional fatherhood and be the type of dad that actively engages your child!
So what does it mean to be an adult? Ask 10 different adults and you’ll get 10 different answers. It doesn’t matter. The truth is, what matters is being what you need to be to make an intentional impact on the lives of your children. Roll on the ground with them. Laugh with them. Be stern with them. Be loving with them. Be present with them. It’s time to get started.