I often refer to JD as “the 5 year old child I have at home.” Of course, I mean it in a loving way. It’s not that JD is immature (he’s had plenty of life experience to mature him beyond the average 24 year old male), it’s that he has these childlike qualities- an enthusiasm for the things the rest of us outgrew a long time ago. It’s very endearing.
For example, he loves chicken nuggets. They’re not the healthiest thing in the world, so I’m not crazy about him eating them, but sometimes it’s nice to come home and say, “Why don’t you just make yourself some chicken nuggets for dinner?”
It’s not really his affinity for chicken nuggets that makes him child-like, it’s that he prefers the dinosaur-shaped kind. As he puts it, “How else can you eat a T-Rex for dinner?” If I bring home the normal kind, his face will drop and he’ll say, “But Jenny, these aren’t shaped like dinosaurs at all.”
While registering for our wedding, he found a dinosaur-shaped sandwich crust cutter. He was elated. Like any mother, I fell for his enthusiasm and put it on the registry. Thinking it was a mistake, no one bought it for us (at my shower, the crust cutter came up and I got a lot of “Oh wait, you meant to register for that?!), but I did surprise him by picking it up for him a few weeks later. It made his day.
When out for a motorcycle ride one summer evening, he unexpectedly pulled a u-turn into a playground parking lot. Once his helmet was off, he exclaimed, “I’ve been looking for this playground since my family moved here! My aunt took me here when I was little! It’s the best playground EVER!”
JD soon found he was a bit too big for a lot of the equipment, which drew some strange looks from other parents and gave me a major advantage in our game of tag. As we ran around the park, laughing like small children, I was reminded what makes him so special. At the age of 27, I no longer get excited about playgrounds or food cut into special designs. As we get older, our appreciation for “the little things” starts to fade. It’s called “maturing,” but I really think we’re losing something. I’m glad I have JD to remind me that the little things make life great.