The other night Craig and I watched the beginning of the Season Finale of SYTYCD. Watching those kids dance their hearts out, loving their friends, laughing and crying, made me realize – with utter clarity – the truth behind the saying “youth is wasted on the young.” I wouldn’t really say it is wasted, but man, did we know how easy, relaxed and fun it all was? You would think, of course they did, that’s why they were loving, laughing and crying.
But understanding the joy of youth is like understanding the capacity to love. I really could not fathom how deep and immense my love for another soul could be until I had a child. And because of that same child, I finally understood how awesome it also was to be so youthful.
Ha! I say “was” because that youth has long gone, my dear friends.
I looked at Craig and said, “I will never experience that feeling of camaraderie ever again.” Perhaps one day I will play polo on a team again. Maybe in 5 years I will go to the next Hungarian Scouts World Jamboree (SO SAD I missed it this year – first time in 15 years! *sniff sniff*) I am sure I will belong to something at some time once again in my life. And yet, despite those possibilities, there is one tiny little accessory I wear that I cannot shed, which serves to remind me I am no longer that youth I could see on the TV. Just a tiny accessory I call Responsibility.
Whoa. What a heavy, heavy word.
It’s not the job responsibility, or the have to pay my bills responsibility. It’s a very special, yet heavy, kind. One that keeps you up at night. One that makes you laugh out loud when no one is listening. One that makes you run into the ocean with all your clothes on when your little girl gets tumbled by a small wave. One that makes you get out of the chair to dance just one more jig even though it is 9:00pm and you’ve been up since 5:00am.
It’s the responsibility of protecting and teaching these little souls. This responsibility never ends. There is no Shutdown or Restart option. It’s there FOR LIFE. And while this responsibility comes with two oh-so-squeezable tooshies, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. And those care-free days of homework, problem-sets, games, meets, tests, crushes, hurt feelings, drama – youth – are long gone memories.
And good thing, too. For change and a dynamic life is what it’s all about.
In memory of the last Jubi tabor (camp) I went to, 2005