I think that probably every one of us in our childish ignorance could not wait to grow up. Oh I Know, I just made the dreaded generalization and to counter it, I do realize that somewhere out there is probably someone who recognized the benefits and savored each and every moment of childhood, including doing the dishes and picking up dog poop. And then of course there are those of us who couldn’t wait to grow up and now that we are here by default (as in age) refuse to act like it. In my case, it’s not in defiance. I am not trying to be childish to prove a point or make a statement. I just am. I will chalk it up to the bipolar. I have heard a couple of theories on that but mostly it’s just because I found I can get away with it if I say that. Sad, but true. As a rule I don’t blame bipolar disorder in order to deny personal accountability. I fall back on that type of statement to avoid going into left field and therefore completely beyond the scope of the point I am trying to make.
It’s a common occurrence in life. We want something, are filled with anticipation, and move full steam ahead without really realizing the consequences or what we may lose by gaining what we think we want. But once on our way, there is no going back. Growing up, getting older is inevitable. We start that process they day we are born so no matter what it can not be stopped – well there is one way to stop it but I can honestly say I have never heard anybody say “I am so excited, I can not WAIT until I die.” Just saying….
I remember when I was pregnant with my first baby. I was excited and anxious and could not wait for her to be born. In my rush to get her born, I barreled right through my pregnancy with blinders on. No stopping to smell the roses, no embracing the moment. When my water broke and I was admitted to the hospital and the contractions were starting to hurt like nobody’s business I changed my mind. I was not ready. I wanted to have a do over. Oh yes, I realized the inevitable outcome would still be me laying here in god forsaken pain cursing the powers that be and anybody else I felt deserved it, which happened to be everybody. But I wanted to go back and enjoy the time leading up to this torture. Subsequently, I did not use the phrase “I can’t wait until..” with my other pregnancies ….I could and would wait. Recognizing that it is inevitable and practicing patience you tend to take more from the whole experience.
On second thought, I admit to impatience but only after I was in labor, well drugged and tired of laying there with my legs in those stupid stirrups but it sounded more like ;
Get this THING out of me NOW !!!! #!**&%$ I can NOT take another minute!!!
Unfortunately, I didn’t apply this lesson to my entire life until years later after I had time to reflect on it. I am grateful I was insightful enough at a still quite young age. Hey..I heard that 40 is the new 20 so I am really on the ball. I hear new parents saying ” I can not wait until little Tommy can (insert desired achievement here) and I want to tell them that they can indeed wait and that they should and that while they are waiting they should really enjoy those moments leading up to said achievement. I am blessed I can apply this knowledge now and not be one that at my time to exit this world looks back and wishes I had not gotten to that point by rushing from milestone to milestone.
Children obviously can not know this or even understand that they have it good as kids. So trying to tell a kid not to be in a rush to grow up usually results in a comment along the lines of
Yeah Mom, whatever. What do you know? You are crazy anyways.
To which I reply
Wait and see young grasshopper, wait and see.
Yes that is a last-ditch attempt of imparting the wisdom of patience but I am doubtful they get it. Oh well. I am not one to say I told you so and not in a rush to be able to anyways.
What I would like to know is why being a grown up has to be synonymous with lack of exuberance and spontaneity? I understand the responsibility issue but can we not be responsible and still enjoy things like children do? Who made up the dumb grown up rules cause I think we need to chat. I am speaking of this as a blanket rule not on an individual basis. I will give you an example.
I went to my almost 5 yo son’s preschool fall festival celebration tonight. The fact that it is referred to as “fall festival” and not what it really is, a HALLOWEEN PARTY is a matter of an irksome nature that I will surely address at a later date. Soon I am sure as the holiday season is fraught with these idiotic oh so politically correct redirections.
Anyhow, they had games and activities and a costume parade (see? HALLOWEEN) and of course, candy. Lots of it. Candy for prizes and such and candy in the middle of all the tables decorated and for the purpose of sitting to eat the hot dog dinner provided for a nominal fee. I saw the candy and felt joy. I love candy and the selection was fantastic. What amazed me though was that I didn’t see any adults eating it. That didn’t stop me mind you, I mean why else would they put candy on the tables? And I didn’t overindulge, at least by my own standards. I also shared with my almost 5 yo , who had a fabulous time by the way. we even discussed the merits of laffy Taffy and compared Milky Ways to Snickers. I learned that he loves lemon heads. A long time favorite of mine too and I happily plopped more in his treat bag and basked in my sugar high. And I marveled and contemplated at the adults. the ones that I am sure would polish off a whole bag of snickers in the privacy of their own home ( I do that too) but here acted completely oblivious of its presence except to admonish their children who wanted so badly to have some of it to leave it for the people.
Um….What people? WE are the people…you, me them and kids. Kids are people too. Damn.
Next to me, 5yo and my imaginary friend laughed and told the Mom who said it – “Oh please you know you want to have some of that candy too! What do you think? The gown up police will get you if you remember how to be a kid? Well they can kiss my ass. ” Friend can be boisterous sometimes, not sure where the language comes from but it is not really a problem.
I get that if we all had been acting like kids it would have been chaos, as we all are aware of what would happen if we allowed a free for all and that is one of the reasons we grow up and are adults, to keep reason amongst insanity. But I didn’t see anywhere in the rule book that said we had to lose the ability to take joy from the simplest things, like candy or Halloween. I admittedly haven’t checked for updates and I am pretty sure my book has a few key points and chapters missing.
I did have a moment of feeling bad. I can’t put my finger on it. I wasn’t embarrassed per se or ashamed. It was just an uncomfortable feeling and it most definitely pertained to the fact I was eating candy.and enjoying it like a kid and my failure to understand the stupid grown up rule correlating to this act.
Grown up rules SUCK and I had a much better time with my child thinking on his level and participating in his childish exuberance than I ever would have acting like a grown up. So I have no regrets and won’t apologize. I do have a couple more thoughts on the whole grown up thing but I have a smallish stash of snickers, lemonheads and Laffy Taffy’s in my purse that I think I will eat before I go to bed.
No, I haven’t brushed my teeth yet and yes I will when I am done. Geesh.