Once upon a time, I was cast as a Lost Boy in my 5th grade production of “Peter Pan.” (Go ahead, laugh it up, but as a tomboy who boasted no acting skills whatsoever, I much preferred my role as a ragamuffin than the coveted ultra-girly roles of Wendy or Tinkerbell.) Although I have the world’s worst memory, I can clearly remember the lyrics to what could now be one of my theme songs: I Won’t Grow Up.
Unlike some kids, I don’t recall ever wishing to be older. I thoroughly enjoyed my carefree childhood lifestyle. Kids get to run around on the playground. They get to play hopscotch and jump rope, chase fireflies and eat popsicles, play Barbies and ride a pink dirt bike. Why would anyone want to wish that away to be a boring grown-up? Nope, being a kid was just fine with me.
Even in high school, when I was approaching the dreaded state of adulthood, I was still content to dwell within the mind of a non-grown-up. When I graduated from college and joined the work force, I still didn’t feel like a grown-up. Then I figured adulthood officially began when I got married. But the wedding bells came and went, and still, no grown-up appeared in my mirror. Ok, so parenthood must be the mark of adulthood, I told myself. But the pitter-patter of little feet joined our household once and then again, and still, you guessed it, I refused to believe I was a grown-up.
Now I'm a 30-something wife and mother. Every now and then, when my youth seems lost beneath a mountain of laundry and a stack of bills, it suddenly hits me: I grew up. When did I become the grown-up responsible for washing that laundry and paying those bills? When did I become the grown-up responsible for molding the lives of two helpless human beings? How could this have happened? I don’t feel like a grown-up. When did I pack up and leave Never Never Land? (And can the military please PCS me back?)
No, I never wished to be older. And whenever my son says he can’t wait until he’s 10 (so we’ll consider buying a dog) or until he can drive (because he thinks that will earn him some freedom) or until he has his own family (so he can boss his kids around like I boss him around), I laugh and sing him the song of the Lost Boys. I won’t grow up. Not me. No sir. Not me.
Need a reminder of your youth? Take a listen…
- I WON’T GROW UP lyrics
Writer's Workshop hosted by Mama Kat
My Chosen Writing Prompt: When do you first imagine yourself wishing you were older or bigger? Write about it. (I think I got a little off track, but that's the point of a prompt right?)