Although I got pretty good grades in school, sometimes it takes a while for things to sink into my understanding.

A couple years ago a little girl came up to me as I was taking pictures at the school and said, “You look just like my grandma.” I didn’t know the little girl, but thought it was a nice compliment. No light bulb yet.

The other night during one of these sleepless times that sometimes interrupt our dreams, I found myself thinking about my grandma and the times we would stay over night at her house when we were kids. I always got to sleep with Grandma. I think that is where I learned my love of reading in bed. But sometime during that sleepless night came the realization that Grandma was at least five years younger then than I am now. But the light bulb still didn’t come on.

The arrival of great- and great-great nieces and nephews, as well as AARP and Medicare cards, still didn’t flip the light switch.

But I think reality is finally beginning to dawn, as daily aches and pains like to remind me — I AM getting old! In a couple months we will celebrate the anniversary of the date when my mom gave birth to her first child (that would be me!) — 67 years ago! Yep, I’m getting old. I’m not there yet, but I am getting there.

But the other day we were watching a Mark Lowrey video and heard a new song that reminded me that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing to get old as long as we keep “a child behind the wrinkles.”

Children are so spontaneous. They don’t stop and analyze the situation before they run up to give you a hug or say “I love you.”

Children are so innocent — until we adults corrupt them with our own prejudices.

Children are so courageous; they aren’t afraid to try new things.

Children are so joyful — their laughter can make the darkest day bright.

Children are so honest. If your dress is ugly, they won’t say it is pretty. If supper is burned, they don’t hesitate to tell you. And if they love you, they aren’t afraid to tell you.

Children are so trusting. We have all had children jump into our arms from a porch rail or step, never doubting that we would catch them and keep them safe.

As children we all ran to mommy or daddy when the thunder was rumbling and the lightning was flashing, knowing we would be safe in their arms.

Contrary to the thousands of people who think their children are a curse and abort them before their life can begin, children are a blessing. Every child is a gift from God, with a purpose, a life to touch.

Our Lord said if we expect to have life in Heaven, we must have faith as a child’s faith. He also warned of the consequences for those who dare to harm a child!

The light bulb has finally come on — I’m getting old. It takes longer to get things accomplished, sometimes I forget why I went from one room to another, and many times I can’t remember the name that goes with the face.

But as long as I have the heart of a child behind my wrinkles, I’ll never really be old.

p p p

Thought for the week — When the world says “give up,” hope whispers, “try it one more time.”

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