Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wendy in Neverland

When you're young, growing up is something to be alternately desired and feared.  Growing up means getting to do what you want, and no one bossing you around.  Growing up means being old and boring and never going to concerts anymore.

Of course, we all know that growing up isn't the same as hitting level 85 in World of Warcraft.  No beams of light shoot out of your body, and no one hands you a gold medal that reads "Unlocked Achievement:  Adulthood".  No, one day you're just going about your business, thinking really hard about how ordering a pizza for dinner would be nice, but then you remind yourself that you still have to make the car payment next week.  All of a sudden it hits you that you're making this decision because you're a grown-up, someone with a job and responsibilities.

You try to think back, but you can't remember the exact moment when you became a grown-up, because you've been so busy with all the things that being a grown-up entails.  When did it happen?  Was it when you got your first apartment?  When you got married?  Bought your first house?  Became a parent?  Then you start panicking, thinking things like, "HOW DID I HAVE A KID AND I DON'T EVEN REALIZE I'M A GROWN-UP?  WHO LET ME HAVE A KID?  HOW IS SOMEONE WHO CAN'T MAKE HAMBURGER HELPER ALLOWED TO BE A MOM?"

But, all in all, I don't feel like I make a terrible grown-up.  My bills get paid on-time, and I've never had my power turned off or had anyone show up to repossess my car.  I'm a pretty responsible mom, too.  I take my son to all his check-ups and buy him new clothes when he outgrows his (though I do often forget socks).

However, I have also decided that growing up doesn't mean I have to get old.  Sure, I may do things like clip coupons as a hobby, but I also still drive everywhere with my windows down and my radio blaring, singing along at the top of my lungs (on the way to work this morning it was "Moves Like Jagger").  I may not over-drink anymore, but I can still shoot tequila and enjoy it.  There are even Friday nights where my husband and I will drink 40s and play video games until 2:00 a.m., though we keep the volume down since the baby is sleeping, and we still have to get up at 6:30 when he wakes up.

Getting older doesn't have to equal getting old.  I look to my parents a lot as an example for this, especially my Dad.  My parents are fun, but they pull it off without doing that pathetic thing where they try to act young unnaturally.  Like, they don't try to know every new Top 40 song that comes out, but when we're hanging out, we'll play ABBA Singstar.  They will get on the floor, in the pool, on the playground, and play with the babies.  We went to Marbles Kids' Museum this past Monday, and my Mom went up a playzone and down a slide with my son.

So my husband and I have no problem watching "Spongebob Squarepants", or playing with puppets, or building robots and rocketships out of Duplo blocks.  Because we're just big kids, too.

Even if we are the ones who have to buy the groceries and pay the mortgage.

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