You know that “inner child” we hear so much about — the one that’s supposedly deep inside of all of us?
Well, I live with it. As a matter of fact, I call him “Austin.”
In the five years I’ve been a parent, I’ve realized that the notion of the inner child is more than just a neat psychological construct. It’s very nearly a literal thing. As we grow up, we don’t change so much as drape layer after complicated layer of adult emotion on top of that inner child. The child doesn’t vanish; he just gets obscured and filtered.
You don’t get an evolved, new mature being. You get Austin with fifteen blankets over his head.