|"The Children of Martial Caillebotte" by Renoir|
This is what I'm saying in my head:
1. There is, or should be, a natural reverence for the child. Just as we naturally step back in awe at great things and people, it is human nature to feel awe at the very sight of a child. There is something hugely mysterious about this primal reaction, and I won't even try to come up with a definitive explanation. Is it a child's natural innocence or purity? Is it their need for help and their complete trust that it will be given? I don't know the answer...but I do know that it is only adults of a twisted nature who don't feel this reverence.
2. This reverence leads to a responsibility to protect and help and love children. They deserve it intrinsically, as young human beings. We also owe it to them from a completely worldly standpoint: children quite literally are our future. If we don't give them joy and hope and wisdom and understanding now, we're damaging not only their futures but our own.
3. Less philosophically, children have an understanding of fun that the majority of adults have lost. Some strange gene seems to appear somewhere around age 22 which suddenly makes adults lose their ability or inclination or freedom to play. Not playing means missing out on an entire way of experiencing and appreciating the world. As Peter Pan sang in the old, musical version: “If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I won't grow up, never grow up, not me!” How can you see the beauty in a tree if you won't even climb it? And if you've closed your mind to simple beauty, I feel sorry for you, but I'm not interested in writing for you.
7. Writing for children is more challenging. I think I'm smart enough.
8. As Theodor (Seuss) Geisel said, “Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” (That's usually the one I'm thinking as I smile and give the vague answer.) If I ever write books for adults, it's going to be the one with some good, solid childlike qualities who are going to read them.
9. So, my last answer, “Why in the world wouldn't I?”