I miss being a kid. Pretty much almost all of the time.

During my childhood, I had no interest in growing up. I wasn’t the kid counting down till each birthday. I didn’t circle my sixteenth birthday on the calendar, longing for the day I could drive for the first time. To me, growing up meant responsibility, and I had no desire to rocket down the mean streets of Vancouver with the POWER TO DESTROY harnessed in my trembling, white-knuckled hands. To me, a driver’s license didn’t feel like access to freedom, it felt like a license TO KILL.

Seriously. The first time I got behind the wheel of a car, I felt like someone had just put a machine gun into my hand.

I was dragged into adulthood kicking and screaming. I didn’t get my first job till I was twenty, didn’t have my first kiss till I was twenty-one (and it wasn’t even my idea – remind me to tell you THAT story sometime), and then, BAM, I met my Vanderman in a whirlwind romance which culminated in getting married at twenty-two (though really, I had the emotional maturity of a twelve-year-old - no offence to preteens intended).

I think I only said yes because I loved him too much to say no. The whole concept of marriage and kids and OH-MY-FREAKIN’-GOODNESS-I-HAVE-TO-GROW-UP-NOW terrified me. It literally took me years to recover from the shock of it all. Eight years, actually. I counted.

And now I have four daughters and the whole pretending-I’m-not-REALLY-a-grown-up thing doesn’t work as well anymore. Sometimes, I go native, and I play Lego and I dance party while the girls laugh at me, and I kick their butts at Mario Kart (because I’m a mean Mama and I never let them win – go ahead, judge me). But then I glance over at the sink, or cast my eyes up at the staggering height of Mt. McLaundry, and the old feeling comes flooding back.

Crap. I’m the grown up here, aren’t I?

I’m struggling to find the balance (if there’s no such thing, don’t tell me, I like my delusions!). I want to live my life joyfully and intentionally. I want to look at the world through lenses of wonder, and carve out space and time for the things that make me happy. But I also want to work hard, accept responsibility, and struggle and strive to be more than I am. Because really, growing up’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s hard, and it’s humbling, and it HURTS. But it’s also amazing, and stretching, and BECOMING.

I’m not sure who I’m becoming, but I think it’s someone not so scared, someone who can kiss and drive and parent and work, and LIVE. Someone who can do all the things that used to seem so terrifying.

Except the laundry. I can’t see me ever getting the hang of THAT.

VanderVision Tip of the Day: Sometimes you can’t choose between two types of awesome. You just have to figure out a way to be both.

1 comment:

  1. I turned 40 this year and I STILL don't feel like a grown up. I'm not sure I ever really will, and that is okay, as long as I keep managing to do what I am supposed to be doing.