When David’s birthday arrived in February 1992, my wife decorated the house the night before after David went to bed – as she had always done for him when he was growing up.
Everything was set out the night before in the dining room, as David had invited a number of his friends from Temple Close Nursery School over for his birthday party.
A “pin the tail on the donkey” game and a couple of presents await opening at David’s birthday party, as the other kids would arrive later in the day to share in the fun and enjoy some birthday treats.
The donkey “target” is standing by – affixed to the wall of the dining room – and everything seems to be ready for the party.
Here’s one last picture of the table set with everything ready to go, just before the party is about to begin in our dining room in Bloxham, U.K.
David (with bow tie) and his guests take their seats and check out their party favors – by first putting on their party hats.
When I think of these pictures from 1992, I have to “fast forward” in my mind and replace these children with the adults that they are today – eighteen years later – and imagine the difference the years have made.
Another thing that strikes me about these photos is that the childhood experience is really defined by lots of bold and vibrant colors – and adulthood is often conformed to a pallet of “neutrals” – which in and of itself describes exactly what we’ve lost from our childhood innocence.
The childhood theme of bold and vibrant colors defines the very richness of childhood – every day something new, fresh, different and unknown to read and learn about – and to experience with unfettered enthusiasm.
Conformity is the great “crime” that society inflicts on its children in order to mold them in a prescribed way to adapt to an ideal – that is rarely beneficial for either the individual or society in the end – as homogenized and standardized thought serves no one well.
So as parents it is important to allow children to explore their world in whatever direction life takes them, while providing caution and explaination when their course angles into known dangerous and unhealthy directions.
In the end, a child is his or her own person, and you are entrusted to guide and instruct them through their formative years – always with the intention and ambition to “let them go” to explore the world on their own terms using their own compass – to chart their own course and future.