On my little lakeside jog yesterday I overheard an extremely jaded high school chick telling her too kool for skool, slightly less jaded followers that so and so "Needs to grow-up and let go of her childhood". I'm probably taking this whole thing out of context, but that comment still made me think....
Do you remember when those girls in the grade ahead of you got too cool to smile? It was around 5th grade. Maybe I'm the only one that noticed because it made me think--"Do I smile too much...maybe it's more popular not to get excited over dumb stuff". Instead of adopting a permanently neutral expression, that was when I promised myself not to grow up. Maturity is a great (and necessary) quality. But, I think the ultimate realization of maturity includes recapturing aspects of your childhood.
It's not all about the rat race people. Don't forget the excitement you felt over things as a kid. Or how good it feels to play outside until it's time to eat dinner. Don't be too good to get your hair wet when you go swimming. It will dry. And it will probably look bad too. But your head won't be so hot, or sore from your pony tail.
As the future perfect parent (because I've got it all figured out...in THEORY), I think retaining a little piece of your childhood forever makes you a better parent. Things change so much, and the difference in perspective can make you forget how it felt once upon a time. People complain about not seeing eye to eye with their children, and I think some of that is because people totally forget what it's like to be a child.
Just let go...don't worry so much about what people will think. Pull your Umbro shorts up past your belly button. I double dare ya!