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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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30 Responses to 554

  1. smudge77 says:

    good timing, when I clicked on Blog Surfer :)

    well, I never grew up…the eldest out of 3 and the shortest, at 5’2″ lol
    my 6 foot younger brother often draws attention to this :)

    anyway – as Sheila Walsh sang, some years ago, I’m growing up to be your child.’

  2. Thanks for reminding me! I meant to write a blog one day on my theory that the only two differences between kids and kids in adult skins are 1) adults have more responsibilities and 2) adults try and hide their relational immaturity more than kids (but often don’t succeed) – not that they are more mature…

  3. becky says:

    I am going to be as childlike as Mike Yaconelli and if anyone tries to stop me, I’ll throw a major theological temper tantrum.

    Here in the US we’re facing a massive financial crises caused by “grown ups.” yeah right.

  4. shelly says:

    Grown-ups? What are those? ;) I kid.

  5. Pete Rehn says:

    i feel more like a “picked-up…”

  6. dennis says:

    How about a Pushed Up! Most kids I work with never had the chance to be children as they are urged continually!! to GROW up. God forgive us.

  7. :-) As a graduate student I remember a discussion of some imponderable topic. I remarked that I would leave it to the grown-ups to sort out. An old and wise professor looked across at me with piercing blue eyes, and said “the trouble is, Andrew, one day you wake up and realise that you ARE one of the grown-ups.”

  8. miriworm says:

    The child is the father of the man or the mother of the woman!

    Always fun and sometimes revealing to speculate on what the adult was like as a child.

  9. Caroline Too says:

    Sadly, looking at my waist, hips etc… I seem to be a grown out

  10. Pete Rehn says:

    so the ideal is to be grown in? spiritually? oh dear, my thoughts make me inbread…? bread? hm.

  11. janetp says:

    I’ve always defined the difference between childLIKE (mature acceptance of the child in all of us, and the freedom to express it) and childISH (immature and generally socially unacceptable, self-centred behaviour) as one primarily of APPROPRIATENESS. By which I mean that, for example, running down a grassy hill on a summer’s day for the sheer joy of being alive is fine, running around and climbing on tables in a board meeting is not! :)

    I guess at the end of the day, it’s about focus: being concerned for the wellbeing of those around you (allowing us to be childlike) or being totally absorbed in yourself (which leads to being childish). In the board meeting, there are other people to take into consideration; in the field, there aren’t.

    I don’t know if I’ve explained all that clearly, but hopefully you get the idea. :)

  12. jonbirch says:

    hi janetp… i would contest that the boardroom is one of those places where children are very much at play. they wear suits, sure, but the same playground power games, the same ‘i want to play with you but not with her’, the same ‘it’s no fair’, the same, ‘come on gang. we can win this’… it’s exactly the same with a few more wrinkles and a different set of clothes. :-)

    once, when i was renting desk space within a company, i encouraged a couple of others to join me in jumping and climbing across all the desks making monkey and gorilla noises and emulating their behaviour. it was such an amazing release… and darned funny! of course we got in to trouble for it, but we were only told off by ‘bigger’ boys… and i bet you those same people who told us off wished it was them who’d been playing monkeys! they certainly could have used the therapy! :-)

  13. janetp says:

    That’s what I mean by childISH, Jon. As you rightly pointed out (very humerously) by ‘emulating’ them, the ‘grown ups’ in this scenario were actually being just as childish as you were, but without the irony.

    It all comes back to appropriateness, and I certainly agree that much of what goes on in the so-called adult world is often not-so-very-different from what you see in the average school playground, it’s just in disguise (and often not a very good one at that!) Which makes me wonder which is wrong: the adults behaving like children, or our social code that says we should somehow, magically, become something else as we get older …

    That said, personally, I hope as I have got older I’ve gained better control over my tendency to be childish, without losing any of the freedom and delight of being childlike. It’s a difficult balance and I know I don’t always get it right. :(

  14. janetp says:

    I’ve just re-read your first paragraph, Jon, and I think I may have gone slightly adrift in mine.

    To clarify, perhaps you and your friends WERE being childish (though it could, perhaps be argued that such behaviour could be given space within the working environment and thus become childlike – I’m all for playtime :) ) On the other hand, the ‘bigger boys’ were being just as childish in that it was probably more about power and control than anything else.

    Like I said, it’s a fine balance, and I guess “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter” as the saying goes.

  15. JF says:

    Jon (12) your comments are spot on. I have often been reminded that I learned pretty much everything about human behaviour in the primary school playground.

    In a further analogy, however, I often think of when a family goes on holiday. It’s the grown-ups who make it happen, for the benefit of the family as a whole. Someone has to be the grown-up sometimes.

  16. jonbirch says:

    yes jf… the second half of your comment is where my cartoon analogy falls down… and i think it’s also what janetp is saying. :-)
    i do feel that we behave surprisingly like our child did pretty much all of the time. even when it comes to where to go on our holidays, or even our right to have a holiday.
    as someone said above… there is no magical change from child to grown-up. infact i think we simply get older, learn some lessons, forget others, often we are foolish and sometimes we are wise, just like when we were kids… kids don’t get all the credit they should.

  17. janetp says:

    Perhaps being a “grown-up” is about learning to be your own parent while still being the child – a parent who will relax, enjoy and accept the child, but who will also rebuke (to use the biblical word), correct, restrain and teach when necessary.

  18. AnneDroid says:

    I’ve heard it said that it’s only males who never grow up. Miaow!

  19. jody says:

    i remember feeling slightly cheated on reaching vague adult age and realising that i didn’t suddenly feel like i knew what i was doing – a bit like when i had my second child and everyone assumes that you know what you’re doing now you have two (not a bleedin clue!)

    also the fact that those who were bullies in the playground actually grew up to be bullies in the workplace too and i still had to deal with them – then i got therapy :-P

  20. janetp says:

    I know what you mean, Jody.

    I’m still trying to work out what I want to be when I grow up … :razz:

  21. Ros says:

    I most be young, then! ;)

    “No grown ups” – especially not in my workplace! :D

  22. Stumpy says:

    I’ve misplaced my manual on how to be an adult. can I borrow one of yours please?

  23. Caroline Too says:

    apparently, we learn 80% of all we’ll ever learn (How do they – who are ‘they’ – work these things out?)

    anyway to get back to my point

    we learning most of what we ever learn before the age of five

    by playing

    imaginary games of make believe

    part of my job as a university teacher is to work out ways of helping addleds learn how to play again, to experiment, to explore to add a ‘maybe’ to their lives

    just in the hope that they might start to learn again…

    …and be called disciples….

    viva the childhood of all believers

  24. jonbirch says:

    caroline too… nice one! :-)

    stumpy… as i keep saying… there is no manual because it doesn’t exist! i’d lend you my manual on how to avoid growing old gracefully, but like me, you don’t need it! :-)

    annedroid… i’ve heard that too. but i think it’s just women kidding themselves. woof!!! :-)

    ros… glad to hear it! :-)

  25. Stumpy says:

    ah! i’ve seen that gracefulness in action Mr Birch, remaining calm when your whole world (or at least your pub tent!) is disappearing around you! ;)

  26. Caroline Too says:

    ah, having written about being an overweight ‘grown out’ rather than grown up…

    … it just occurred to me that, sadly some Christians seem to thing that they’ve ‘out grown’ church family.

  27. Robb says:

    How many people have I heard utter “the children are the church of tomorrow”?

    No, they are the children of today. The reason that they will eventually leave and never come back is because you treat them as second class citizens who will eventually be given “the keys to the kingdom”!!

  28. steve lancaster says:

    Caroline Too (24), Robb (28) –

    Yes! “Viva the childhood of all believers” – and I reckon all beliefs find their common ground in a shared childhood, too.

    Do you think childhood recognises church walls? Maybe those who roam outside church are sometimes those who stay truest to their childlikeness.

    But children try to copy their ‘elders’ and ‘betters’ – so if we want them to keep their childlikeness, perhaps we need to give them examples of our own childlikeness to emulate?

    Love the image of Jon monkeying over the desks at work. Thank you. You’ve inspired me!

  29. Carole says:

    Janetp @ 17 – a resounding yes!

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