Last weekend, for the first time in my life, I held a baby. She was three weeks old and was the daughter of two dear friends of mine. It being my first time to hold a little bundle of joy, I was very precarious and unsure of what to do. I think the child sensed this, because she immediately began to cry. My girlfriend said to me, “Support the neck. She can’t support her little baby head.” I adjusted her head to the cradle of my arm and she calmed. She looked up at me with her half-open blue eyes and smiled just enough to let me know I was doing okay. I felt like she actually knew who I was. She was seeing me for the first time and she was okay with it.
My girlfriend sat next to me and started cooing at the baby. I thought to myself, I am now in adulthood. I am sitting here looking at a friend’s baby. I’m going out on joint dinner dates with other couples. This whole adulthood thing isn’t so bad. Maybe I want to be an adult. I want to have a child and provide for it. I began to feel myself maturing by the second. It was in this humbling moment a sudden fear came over me. What was I thinking? I’m too young to even consider raising a child. I’m just a kid. These people are my age and they have a baby. Having babies and going on double dates is for mature people with grown up lives. If this is adulthood, I am definitely not ready for it. I don’t even think I want it. Why would anyone ever want to grow up?
It was in this frantic inner monologue I looked down as the little girl yawned so cutely I wanted to laugh, and then her happy smile turned sharply into a frown. What did I do? Why are you upset, baby? Then I realized why she was frowning. Her flatulence was so foul, I almost dropped her.
After conceding the baby to her mother, I sat down and watched the mother interact with her child. My girlfriend put her hand on mine and began talking with the other couple about their jobs, house and their new baby. Slowly, as we moved from topic to topic, I began to see the beauty of our society.
The grown-up world is really quite unique in how it fits together. It is set up for us to do things for other people. We must buy shelter, but we don’t want to be alone. We want our own room, but what we mainly want is the door leading out of it. We shouldn’t be scared entering the grown-up world because the truth is there is no grown up world. There is no moment where one blossoms into an adult and leaves all of their immaturities behind. I think we all have met plenty of immature people who look like adults.
Life is just a series of lessons, one after the other. The path is not straight and many times a lesson is repeated until learned. What we must remember is that we must never become stagnate in our learning. Even the oldest man on earth can still learn more.
Never think you have all the answers because then your purpose here on earth would seem worthless. Don’t ever be scared of learning. Peter Pan can stay a child forever, but he must still keep learning. To think, this lesson was inspired by a baby farting.