I remember wanting to grow up so badly. All of my make believe games when I was a kid were about being older. My games included living in a dorm room in college, being a flight attendant seeing the world and being a working girl living on my own. I constantly talked about wanting to be a grown up. I preened like a peacock during mating season when I was complimented about how grown up I looked or acted.
Claire is my polar opposite in this respect. During her First Communion party last year she had a bit of mini-meltdown about her childhood slipping away. She and I talked a long time about not having to grow up too fast. She likes being a kid and I like her being a kid but the issue of growing up fast keeps popping up. Several of her friends talk quite a bit about where they want to go to middle school and then on to high school ~ keep in mind Claire and her friends are in 4th grade. As we were driving home from swim practice last night she said “I don’t want to have to think about where I am going to middle school yet. I’m only in 4th grade and I want to enjoy 4th grade.” Claire stuns me with her desire to stay a kid for as long as she can. She doesn’t stun me because I wanted to grow up so fast and she doesn’t but it is because her approach to remaining a kid is so mature. She appreciates being a kid in a way I never did. She is an anomaly. She is a kid and she is a kid at heart but she approaches life with the maturity some adults will never have.
All kids deserve to stay kids for as long as they can. Being an adult, I figured out, it a lot of work. Now, I would love to go back to being a kid every so often, although, if you ask my kids they will tell you I don’t act too grown up sometimes. I guess there are a lot of Peter Pan’s in our house. No one really wants to grow up around here. I like it like this. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me young because now I don’t want to be a grown up. I want to stay young at heart. I want my kids to stay kids as long as they can. Peter Pan can stay here for as long as he wants. There is plenty of time to be grown up.
Ah, for the love of my children…