There is a phenomenon I have discovered when it comes to growing up. Some people don’t want you to. I don’t want me to. But no one has a choice, it just happens.
My grandma, who I call Meemee, always talks about me as a little girl. She tells me about how I would run around the front yard, my grandpa Poppy spraying me with the water hose, and me holding my elbows back and scream/laughing the entire time. She tells me about how cute my voice was when I would call her on the telephone and how I always charmed the waitresses at restaurants.
She, like me, would rather I didn’t have to grow up. Then there are other people who can’t wait to do so.
Tonight I was at dinner with my parents and some of their friends. We were talking about how teenagers can’t wait to leave home so they can do whatever they want. I mentioned how that is not at all true of me.
I’ve been out on my own, so to speak, for almost four years. College is a protected and still fairly sheltered version of “out on my own” but it has allowed me to appreciate being young and understand what living in someone else’s home has to offer.
No responsibility. Someone else pays for things. Someone else worries about where to live and where to go. Mom cooks dinner. Dad makes sure the oil in the car is changed on time. (That reminds me, I really need to get my oil changed.)
It’s a good deal.
And just so you all know, it isn’t just good because there is no responsibility or bills to pay. It is also comforting to know someone is always right there to pick up the pieces and to keep you safe. And having someone older and wiser to help make decisions sure makes life easier. I think when we are young we don’t get that. But the threat of graduation looming ahead has me realizing more and more how lucky I have it. And I’ve been missing the old days of being a little kid.
You know those days? The ones where the hours seemed to tick by so slowly you could fit three of the days you have now inside of them. Days were filled with playtime with neighbor kids and school that you wined about but it really wasn’t so bad. You thought you would never grow up and graduate high school, much less college, if you even thought about that at all.
Life was easy and simple and slow.
But it can’t stay like that forever, unfortunately. We all have to grow up, though some choose to put it off until they are thirty or so. For me, my time is now. It is in 104 days anyway. With that reality the idea of being a grown up gets more real and scary. There was a reason Peter Pan never wanted to grow up after all.
At six I never thought about it. At fifteen I thought it would never happen. At eighteen I couldn’t wait. But now, at twenty-two, I wish I could put it off a lot longer.
But it’s coming quickly, the grown up world. Even Peter Pan had to accept it eventually, and so do I.