1. Catching fireflies. In your palm, in a glass jar, watching them glow orangey-red like an impatient yield light before you set them free. You will never be too old for lazy summer nights, for grass between your bare toes, or for curling up on your favorite quilt with your arms behind your head, watching their little lights twinkle as you drift to sleep.
2. Buying a sweet treat from the ice cream truck. Because you hear that sing-song melody every summer afternoon. And because it will always taste better from the truck, no matter your age.
3. Kissing your mom and dad on the cheek. They will forever be your parents. You are never too big, two grown-up to kiss them, to tell them you love them, or to hug them just a minute longer before you leave.
4. Painting your fingernails bright pink. Life is too short to not rock the color you feel comfortable in. So neon green, electric orange, black, bright pink? Rock it.
5. Walking barefoot. Feeling the sand, the grass, the gravel, the asphalt beneath your soles. Feeling connected with the earth, connected with that inner child playing hopscotch at the playground or running across the backyard. You’ll never be too old for that.
6. Indulging in a gas station slurpee. They will always be filled with artificially sweetened, hyper-inducing goodness, no matter your age.
7. Licking your fingers. Between first and second round, after BBQ ribs, while eating hot wings, as your popsicle melts down your arm, anytime. Food is good. Life is good. Lick your fingers shamelessly.
8. Drawing with sidewalk chalk. The comfort of pastels and concrete is something you’ll never grow out of.
9. Playing dress-up. On Halloween or on a Saturday in your highest heels and pearls. You don’t have to be the same person every day. You are never too old for overalls, for that furry jacket, or for those red, red lips.
10. Running. You ran when you were a kid–everywhere. You ran when you were happy, ran through the field, ran down the street, ran to your friends house. Keep running. Keep that energy. Your feet pounding on concrete will help you stay grounded.
11. Eating ice cream straight from the gallon. Forget the spoons, forget the diets, forget the rules. You will never be too old for extra sprinkles or for cartons of mint chocolate chip shared across the counter with someone you love. These are your young years, your best years. Indulge.
12. Napping whenever possible. You should enjoy every moment, live it up as long and as much as you can, but never underestimate the power of a cat-nap. There’s nothing wrong with curling up on the couch mid-afternoon, or going back to sleep on a lazy Sunday.
13. Making a mess. Trying and completely failing. Creating something, and letting the scraps and glue and glitter cover every surface. Falling in love, and ending in destruction. You will never be too old for messes, for picking up the pieces, and for making more messes along the way.
14. Driving with the windows down. And your hair flying all over the place. You don’t always need the air conditioner, or your hair all prim and proper. You can let it down, let it fly across your face, let the music blare and your arm dangle out the window, welcoming the sun.
15. Being silly. You don’t have to take yourself too seriously as you grow up. Life is too short to be stoic all the time; things happen too quickly for you to be bitter. So laugh. Smile. Make goofy faces. Tell dumb jokes. They never get old.
16. Having a good cry. Growing up doesn’t mean hiding your emotions. A good cry is healthy; a good cry refreshes and strengthens and helps you grow. You are never too old to bawl like a baby every once in a while.
17. Seeing the good in people, in life. When you are young, the world is limitless, boundless, beautiful. Don’t forget this. See the world, see people as flawed but inherently good. Believe in that. Never lose it.