Between trying to make enough money to scrape together for college, learning to become a better writer and still spend enough time with my family, I've come to a conclusion.
Kindergartners have it made.
Some family friends of ours recently had a son finish up kindergarten, and I've got to say, it sounds pretty great. I'd take nap time over waking up at 5 a.m. to get to work, and getting to play, color and learn the basics sounds pretty great in comparison to working what seems like every waking minute. So, here are some reasons why I've become entirely convinced that we should all envy kindergartners.
1. They have an allotted nap time
I remember absolutely hating naps as a kid. Years down the road, I wish I had taken advantage of the opportunity when it was smiled upon, because I find myself longing for a nap every day. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have a selected portion of my schedule dedicated to laying down and resting. I wish. You never know what you have until it's gone, and nap time is definitely something I wish I hadn't taken for granted.
2. Their abilities are always praised, even if they lack talent
In kindergarten, it doesn't matter if you can't color within the lines. It isn't frowned upon to sing without being able to carry a tune. No one will think less of a little person trying their best, even if their best doesn't match up to a high standard. Effort can only get you so far in adult life, and that's a good thing, but sometimes I find myself wishing that effort was worth a little more. Like kindergarten, where even your worst pictures still end up on the fridge.
3. No dream is too big
Want to be an astronaut? That's amazing. A rock star? Fantastic! A superhero? Go for it. Kids have huge dreams for who they'll be and what they'll do, and they haven't reached the age yet when the world starts trying to tell them what's realistic and smart. They just follow their hearts, and shoot for the stars. If everyone kept that mindset from kindergarten in which they believed anything was possible, the world might be much more advanced, or a much better place.
4. The world seems happier
I remember how much I loved life when I was young. Everything just seemed to be -- good. As a kid, the exposure to problems and bad situations is (hopefully) very limited, and this gives most kids an optimistic, happy view of life. I miss that. I miss looking at the world and seeing a good place. I miss being optimistic, being happy most of the time.
5. There aren't a lot of problems that don't have an easy fix
Everything seems simple when you're young. If you have a problem with someone, it's probably not any bigger than them stealing your crayons, and you either just take them back or tell the teacher. Either way, problem solved. These little problems might seem like the biggest things in the world, but looking back, wouldn't you prefer them over the ones we face now?
6. There's no pressure to be anything other than yourself
Self expression is expected when you're young. Not a lot of people look at kids and feel the need to fundamentally change them. You're not required to color the same picture as everyone else; the fact that it's unique and made by you is what makes it special. It would be really nice to treat adults with this mindset sometimes: not encouraging a status quo, but instead celebrating what makes us unique and special.
7. Learning is still fun
Kids get to learn in the most amazing ways! It's always fun to learn in kindergarten, because the lessons are made into games or crafts, and the kids often don't even realize how much they're learning until they're finished. I'm not sure how much this would work in the adult world, but learning new things would be so much more fun if we had more creative or unique ways of learning.
8. Life is simple
Kids just see the world from a simpler point of view. Problems are smaller, things are more black and white and life seems easier. Kids are almost never as stressed as adults can be, and how amazing would that feel -- to have such a simple life that you didn't feel stress? Man, I miss the simple times.
Kids, treasure it while it lasts. It won't stick around forever. And adults, remember that it's OK to be a kid every once in a while. We had it pretty great.