Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again." --Peter Pan

I can’t remember growing up.

I don’t mean that the way it sounds.  That sounds like I had some horrific childhood experience that blocked my entire youth from my mind.

What I mean is...I don’t remember the exact time I became a grown up.

I remember times when I thought I had grown up.  When I married my husband at twenty, I expected to wake up the next day transformed (a la Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles), when in reality I woke up to find that I was twenty years old and suddenly a wife.  There were 2 words involved (“I do”) but growing up didn’t seem to be required.

When I had my first child, I thought surely the fact that I was that responsible for another human being made me an adult.  Little did I know that I would make so many mistakes...I would sometimes feel like she was the more mature of the two of us.

When my husband died, I was confident that that would fast forward my growth and put me at a level of wisdom that would surpass my peers.  Little did I know that that experience would leave me floundering and that I would regress right back into infancy...when all I could handle was curling up in the most comfortable position I could find and hope someone would take care of me when I couldn’t express what I really needed.

There was no defining moment when a whiny “why can’t I” became a whiny “how can I.”  It came, as most important moments do, when I wasn’t paying attention.

All of these “important” moments, those “milestones,” have been just stepping stones.  And in between them I’ve been leaping into adulthood.

I know that in reality I’m kidding myself right now.  I think that I know that what’s really happening is that I am becoming who I’m supposed to be.  And I will be doing that until the day I die.  There never be a moment when I sit back and say, “Ahhhh...I’m perfect.’s happened.” 

I’m assuming that when I’m 85, I’ll be laughing about the things I didn’t know in my 70s.

We all try to do what’s best.  We have all had moments that have been posed and preserved.  And as we get older, we understand that it’s the moments that sneak up on us...those are what we will really remember.  There is magic in spontaneity.  There is true laughter in many of the mistakes we make.  There is growth in the times we defy what’s expected of us.

When I think of life that way...I hope I never grow up.  Being a grown up seems to sometimes block what’s still magic inside.  It seems to admit defeat and acknowledge that an ordinary life is okay.  And whatever we do in life...whatever moves should be extraordinary.  To us.

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© Catherine Tidd 2010

1 comment:

  1. There are no words for how beautiful this is. I wish we lived closer. I have a feeling we could really knock some people out.