Rejuvenile by Christopher Noxon  

07.14.06 Big Pajamas and a Bigger Tent

imageThe anti-rejuvenile rant of back-to-basics Christian Ingrid Schlueter has yielded some terrific feedback on HuffingtonPost. Two of those comments particularly got me thinking about the complex blend of ideals and neuroses at play in the rejuvenile impulse.

A reader who goes by the handle Seasalt raises a crucial point: that childlike adults are often far more productive and creative than more traditional, serious-minded grown-ups:

The most ?playful’ and ‘childlike’ men in my circle of friends are also very successful in the ‘real’ world, for example: my buddy who has a Ph.D. in Engineering and works on ultra-precision components for the next Mars probe. At night and on the weekends, he and his fellow-engineer geniuses (some of them very happily married husbands and fathers) play with Lego, build toy-sized ‘fighting’ robots and enjoy a rousing game of paint-ball from time to time. They collect science-fiction toys, go swing dancing and love to play with puzzles, too. Then they go back to work and do some of the most difficult, responsible, exacting jobs around. Why yes, it actually IS rocket science.

Play-time is very creative. It releases stress and opens one’s mind to all kinds of hidden resources. There is a reason why we use the same word for ‘playing’ an instrument; many musicians are also very creative and playful in other areas of their lives.

If there were ‘feety p.j.’ s in my size I’d buy them in a heart- —  if they came in hot pink with little white Casper the Friendly Ghosts on them Heaven. [Ed note: Heaven is here! Check Big Feet PJs for a wide selection]. Not because I shun the responsibilities of womanhood. Quite the contrary. However, if being playful, coloring outside of the lines, belly-laughing and experiencing the joyful exuberance of a lifelong ‘childhood’ keeps my synapses firing and my stress down, how could it be a bad thing? It beats the heck out of living on Prozac and cocktails and needing a quart of botox for my frown lines!

Let’s face it: our Puritan ancestors were a grim bunch. H.L. Mencken is famously quoted thus, “Puritanism—the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.”

Anyone who is made ‘nauseous’ by other people’s joy needs LOTS of therapy. I recommend ‘play’ therapy as a start. Blow some bubbles. Make some brightly-colored ‘snowflakes-stars’ out of construction paper. Teach yourself ‘Happy Birthday to You’ on a cheap-o penny whistle from your local music store.

To which I naturally respond, Hallelujah! We rejuveniles are right to defend ourselves against the harrumphing codgers of the world, even if our protestations aren’t likely to change the minds of absolutists who believe at a basic, pre-rational level that kids should be kids and adults should be adults (or to quote the bumper sticker: ?God said it. I believe it. That settles it.?) In the end, our happiness is our best revenge.

Another message came from a remarkable reader named Lil? Vickie whose tastes for childlike things extends far beyond the occasional stress-relieving game of Lego or paint ball. Here’s what she had to say:

I have the distinction of being one of very few who can say I AM a “back to basics” Christian, and I am also an LG (Little Girl). This is a lifestyle in which adults see themselves as little girls, dressing as and playing as them. I am also TG - TransGender (a physical male but mentally/emotionally/spiritually female). Also I am AB, Adult Baby (one who fantasizes and plays that they are a baby). But I am also a bona-fide Christian - heck, I’m not just a Christian, I am a preacher.

You may ask how this is possible. How could one of these stick-up-their-butt Christians actually be an LG/AB (as you put it, a “rejuve”)? The answer - the people you identify as Christians are NOT Christians. You say, “Well they say they are.” Big frickin deal - I know a lot of people in nuthouses who SAY they are Adolph Hitler or Jesus Christ. Unless these people take on the values of Christianity, they are NOT Christian.

You are right about Jesus saying we need to come to him as little children. People say that means “born again” and they miss the whole point. That’s not what he is talking about at all, if it was, he would have taken a baby and set it among them, but he didn’t - it says he used a child as an example. So let’s see something - f we are Christians we will produce fruit according to John 15. Fruit, as described as Spiritual Fruit in the Epistle to the Galatians, includes gentleness, meekness, forgiveness, kindness ... these seem to me to be traits a little girl might have. Also topmost in the New Testament are traits of trust and love without boundaries - once again, childlike traits. Please notice I said childLIKE, not childISH - there is a difference. There has to be a balance because the Bible also speaks of patience and maturity and wisdom - and these are things that real children do not have.

I have studied the Bible for a long time, and in depth for the last 10 years or so. Yes, there are many who have studied longer, there are many that know more. However, I feel I know a little more than the “average Joe Christian”, and I am confident in telling you that nothing Jesus or his disciples taught as recorded in the Bible is against “rejuve”. Do you think Jesus never had any fun? I believe the Bible says he was having quite a bit of fun at a certain wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2).

A transgender adult baby back-to-basics Christian? The mind reels. Still, the rejuvenile tent is a big one indeed. And Lil? Vicky is right to point out the crucial distinction between childlike wonder and openness and childish impatience and intolerance ” I deal with that difference at length in the last chapter of Rejuvenile. While I’m not a Christian and have a bit of evolving to do before I appreciate the appeal of adult babyhood, I’m pretty sure Lil” Vicky has a better grasp on the essence of Jesus? teachings than the aggrieved Christians so worked up over the book?

Posted at 1:48 pm in The Rejuvenile Impulse | 0 Comments


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