I am told I never grew up.
There were always possibilities and solutions to any potential challenge. Whether it was learning to walk, mastering the alphabet, completing my advanced degree in pediatric physical therapy and doctorate in education, or helping the child with a disability take her first step, there was always more than one way to reach a solution. The possibilities were endless. To a child anyway.
As a child, I was skilled at science and math and languages but I LOVED art. My grown up science educated parents, however, saw the practical world of making a living as only science and avoiding art. While they never allowed formal training in art, I read every book I could find and was endlessly trying techniques or drawing pictures. But the possibility of being an artist ultimately had to be shelved in favor of the grown up solution of earning a stable living. I could always communicate with children. And animals. Exploring the possibilities for solutions to the issues of the young child with disabilities and working with animals in the process became my compromise to earning a stable living and keeping my naiveté intact. I refused to see problems, just possibilities and solutions.
And then, the solution failed. I had to retire due to disability.
It took awhile, but the chance to be a child again opened all sorts of possibilities. Now I can explore all the things I missed when I was the pediatric physical therapist, business owner, international lecturer, writer etc. There are gardens to design and plant, sunrises (and sunsets) to admire as well as flora and fauna to enjoy and protect. There are children to just relish being with and animals to make me smile. The possibilities are endless!
Children and animals communicate on a level few adults remember. For those of us fortunate enough to remember, the world can still be a mystical place full of innocence and possibilities. I hope I never grow up again!