growing up

I remember as a kid I wanted nothing more than to grow up.

I eagerly waited and dreamed up the most pefectest wonderfulest amazingest life I could possibly imagine.  I had it all figured out.  I’d have a blue house and a porch swing.  I’d have my own lake to swim in and my own paddle boat.  I’d have a dog… or fifteen dogs.  You can never have too many dogs.   I’d have a horse.  I’d have a tree fort (I mean, how cool are those?!).  I’d have a big yard to play in, and especially lots of friends and family to come over and play with me so I don’t get bored.  I didn’t take into consideration all the trials that come with all those wonderful things.  Frankly, I didn’t care.   I didn’t care about a mortgage, a car loan, a college education, the government, work, gas prices, supporting a family, insurance, finances, natural disasters, credit scores, death… the list is literally unending.  If I knew what I know now, I’d be absolutely terrified to grow up.  The amount of responsibility you gain with age is almost unbearable at times.  You get more and more unhappy at how backwards things are in the world and how nearly impossible it is to actually obtain the “dream life”.

Now that “I’m all growed up” I look around me and I have quite a different life from what I imagined as a kid.  I worry constantly about Buddy, Peanut and Bear, I stress over finances, I (too easily) find the negative in things and worst of all I feel like I’m always too busy for those friends and family to come over and play with me.  Where’s my lake?  Where’s my horse?  Where’s my treehouse?!?!  I worry about the kids not developing fast enough.  I want to make sure they’re smarter than I was.  I want them to get good grades and get involved in their society and be upstanding citizens.  I want them to get jobs.  I want them to keep their noses in books and keep their eye on the ball.  I want them to get ahead and be successful.

Then…

Tonight I watched Buddy playing.  He was so happy.  I mean seriously happy, laughing at the world around him and smiling for no reason.  He was living in the moment and taking joy in every minute of it.  He is almost always like this.  He loves Husband and I so unconditionally.  When he does something he’s proud of he immediately giggles and turns around with a huge smile plastered on his face meant just for me.  My heart melts every time and I can’t help but smile in response to that pure joy.  He’s 16 months old, and yet he’s probably got a more fulfilling life than me!   How is it that my 16 month old is teaching ME lessons in life?  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

It got me to thinking.  When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to grow up.  I wanted all the stuff and the money and to be a prominent figure in society.  What I didn’t realize was that I had everything I could ever have wanted.  Now, I want nothing more than get those years back and to be a kid again.  Some of my favorite memories were as a kid.  I’d play outside all day.  I had a new imaginary world every single day and I always found the positive in things.  A crappy old couch could be made into a fort.  Suddenly I’m in a castle and I’m a dragon protecting my treasure.  A dark rainy day would be made into the perfect opportunity to camp out in the living room and not get yelled at for making a mess.  My Dad’s leftover scraps from woodworking could be made into crafts and keep me occupied for hours trying to create something out of nothing.  I woke up every morning without having lost any sleep over worries, stress and anxiety.  In fact I was HAPPY to wake up in the morning.  It was a new beautiful day, why wouldn’t I be happy?

Now I don’t want my kids to grow up.  I mean, seriously.  What was with my “growing up” obsession?!  Why couldn’t I concentrate on the fun stuff?  I never want to see this happiness replaced by stress.  I want their heads to stay in the clouds.  I want them to stay innocent and ignorant.  I know… that’s WAY too much to ask.  But now that I know what they’ll eventually be exposed to I can’t help but worry for different reasons.  I don’t want them to be as eager as I was to grow up and miss out on their childhood.  Now I understand why I always heard parents saying they want their babies to stay babies.  We don’t want them to grow up, for our sakes and theirs.  So my new goal as a Mom is to do everything in my power to make their childhood as kick ass as I can.  We’re gonna go to the Zoo, we’re gonna do crafts, we’re gonna go boating and tubing, we’re gonna go biking, we’re gonna go on family vacations, we’re gonna eat too much at family picnics, stay up too late watching movies, laugh too hard at stupid jokes and EVERYTHING that I can think of.  I want them to experience all the fun and happiness I can give them as kids.  That way, when they’re in their mid 20’s and getting deeper and deeper in “life”, they can at least look back fondly on the best time of their lives.  Childhood.

(In the meantime I think it’s time for me to do a little more living and a little LOT less worrying!)

Here are a few pictures of Buddy.  My little inspiration. 🙂

Buddy (7 months old) is ready for a new day!

Buddy passed out after his first trip to the zoo!

Buddy ready to go to the beach (backyard kiddie pool)

Buddy meets his first horses, and LOVES them!

Buddy "helping" fix the sink

the smile that melts my heart

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3 thoughts on “growing up

  1. Why is it that we always seem to want to be where we aren’t? Everything that is worth anything takes hard work, dedication, and time. But mostly, it takes appreciation. Of course you are longing for the days when you dreamt of forts and horses and 15 dogs – you had no idea what went in to having all that so the dreaming was easy! And now you have no time for yourself while you are busy making the sacrifices for your kids. Worrying is part of the job description. I’m glad you are able to recognize Buddy’s moments of pure childhood delight and allow your heart to melt when you gaze into the eyes of your girls. You obviously know what life is truly all about. Don’t Worry – Be Happy!

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