Jewish World Review August 31, 2004 / 15 Elul, 5764

Rochelle Riley

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Child's world has lessons worth sharing | I've said it before: One of the things I like about the Internet, the thing that almost makes up for the daily shots of pornography and fake e-mails telling me about my new mortgage or cash from wealthy Africans, is a simple little nugget whose author is usually unknown, but whose wisdom is profound.

When I got the one I'm sharing today, my first and only thought was, "Count me in." But my second thought was, "Oh, how I wish I could convince my daughter and her friends to read this with straight faces and to understand and, in their hurry to grow up, to not rush the years that soon will come rushing on their own. I hoped that maybe if they hear it from someone other than me, it might make a difference:

So for all of you moms and dads whose children don't get it and for all of my colleagues in whatever field you're in, whether it's construction of buildings or of sentences, whether it's cleanup of grocery aisles or the checkbooks of bank customers with poor math skills, this is for you.

"I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an ADULT. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8-year-old again. I want to go to McDonald's and think it is a four-star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle. I want to see who can blow the biggest bubble. I want to think M&M's are better than money because you can eat them. I want to drink Kool-Aid, and eat Lemonheadswith my friends. I don't want to change clothes because I got a little dirt on them. I want to enjoy every day like it's summer vacation.

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"I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables and TV show theme songs, but that didn't bother you because you didn't know what you didn't know, and you didn't care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset. I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible, I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again, like a new Hot Wheels car.

"I want to live simple again. I don't want my days to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more illness, and loss of loved ones. I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams and the imagination. I want to be in the roller derby and actually believe the Three Stooges are real.

"So . . . here's my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements, my pager, my cell phone, my Palm Pilot, my fax machineand my DVD player, and last but not least my mortgage book. I am hereby officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first `cause . . .

"Tag, you're it! And you have cooties."

That says it all for me, in a nutshell, a nutshell I hope to hand to my daughter and her friends and encourage them to enjoy. And to the author, I say: Thank you, and you must have teenagers.

Rochelle Riley is a columnist for the Detroit Free Press. Comment by clicking here.


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© 2004, Detroit Free Press. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.