Hi, it’s me again. I’ve been dropping super-serious truth bombs on you lately, so let’s lighten the mood a little. I’m not feeling extemporaneous or prosaic today, so we’re gonna do a Buzzfeed-style list for this blog post, only with fewer Zodiac signs. If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of your time daydreaming about those beautiful, sun-soaked days when you were young. Not Adele-song young, but little-kid young. When you were still innocent and thought babies came from mommies and daddies going to the baby store. When the worst thing a boy could do to you was steal your cerulean crayon (none of us knew how to pronounce it, but we all loved it.) When snacktime meant Dunkaroos (if you’re from my generation) and not a small handful of almonds (all celebrities swear by it). You get the picture. You think about that time in your life a lot, don’t you? I mean hey, there’s a reason we reminisce. It’s because all that stuff is familiar to us.
But GUESS WHAT. You don’t want to be a kid again. Here’s some things you forgot about being a kid.
1. Remember how short and small you were? You literally couldn’t reach anything. If you wanted something from the freezer, you’d have to ask Dad, and he might not even oblige. This was your life until you were “like 12″ and your growth spurt set in (that’s how it was for me; I was 4’9” until I was in 5th grade). Isn’t it fun to be able to reach everything (most things, I mean. Unless you’re really tall)? Now you can get that ice cream out of the fridge like a champ without having to hear your dad say, “You’ve already had some.”
2. Remember the pRISON OF JUDGMENT known as middle school? I do. I remember my first pimple. I remember those cOLD STARES from thirteen-year-olds who wore mascara and drank frapuccinos and had a cell phone (with a CAMERA), while I thought makeup was satanic and my beverage choices peaked at a can of Coke. If you peaked in middle school, I’m sorry. I’m also not sorry, because that means middle school was easy for you. For the rest of us, it was like having cavities. Which we probably also had a lot of in middle school. Because it’s hard to brush your teeth around braces. BRACES. Mini prisons for your teeth. Let’s face it – middle school was like having a headache for three years.
3. One of the most devastating things in the world is not having anyone to play with during recess. Maybe you didn’t have this problem, but sometimes all your friends are sick or gone to Florida (remember how everyone just “went to Florida” randomly?!), or your fair-weather friend doesn’t want to hang out with you, so guess what? You’re left alone on the swings. You’re the loner. You’re already self-conscious without being seen as the loner. If you’re really brave, you could sheepishly walk up to a group of people you sort of know and ask to play with them, but what kid is that brave? And if you ever asked that to a group of boys and you’re a girl, they’ll immediately shun you (Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Boy’s Club isn’t just for CEOs. It starts at a tender young age.)
4. Remember how, for most of your childhood, you were cONFINED TO FOUR WALLS AND A WHITEBOARD for 80% of your day? Yeah, me too. Ok sure, kindergarten through second grade were kinda fun. But there was still math. EVERY DAY. And spelling. SPELLING. And (gasp) cursive. Do you remember those cursive books with their deceptive, colorful covers? Do remember thinking “I’m never going to write a 5 that way”? I do. Now you do too. You might still be confined to four walls in higher education and/or a job, but at least you’re not doing cursive every day.
5. When I think about my blissful childhood years, one reminder always yanks me back to reality: I COULDN’T DRIVE. Remember when your Mom and/or Dad had to truck you around (literally in a truck or a van) everywhere you wanted to go? Want to go to Jimmy’s house? Your desires hinge on the whim of Mom’s fancy. She could easily say “no.” Well go ask dad, you may say, because dad always says yes. Dad’s busy. DAD’S. BUSY. You’re stuck at home. Congratulations. No Jimmy today. Fast forward to sixteen, driver’s license, beat-up car. Want to go to Jimmy’s house? gET IN YOUR CAR AND GO BECAUSE YOU’RE AN ADULT AND YOU CAN. Jimmy has missed you.
6. Remember when you had that thing called an “allowance”? It was that little piggy bank of money that your parents allotted you each week for chores and existing and whatever. Usually that piggy bank peaked at five dollars. Oh, so you want to buy that Barbie cruise ship that’s fifty dollars? You’re gonna have to wait tEN YEARS before you accrue enough allowance to buy it. Or pool your money with your siblings. But that means you have to sHARE THE CRUISE SHIP. Guess what? You’re an adult with an income now. You can buy stuff. You want that cruise ship? You go buy that friggin’ cruise ship. Heck, go on an actual CRUISE because you have mONEY that’s not in a pIGGY BANK. Boom. Adulthood. (I’m not saying that’s a financially wise investment, but it’s a thing you can do. If you want. Because hopefully you have more than five dollars in your bank account.)
7. Remember watching movies as a kid? Neither do I. Because I don’t remember movies from my childhood because I didn’t understand them. You know how terrible it feels when someone is laughing at something you don’t understand?! Like all those double entendres in Disney movies? Aren’t Disney movies more fun to watch when you’re an adult and actually uNDERSTAND WHAT THEY’RE SAYING instead of thinking “oh her dress is pretty and I’m going to marry a prince someday too”? LAME. Disney movies were made for adults. So were all movies.
So here we are. Adults. Doing adult-y stuff. But wishing we weren’t adults. Wishing we were still dunkin’ those roos in whatever frosting stuff that was. Wishing we were still in Playskool and not actual school. Wishing we were still pretending to make dinner with food made out of plastic instead of faced with the daunting task of having to make actual dinner without setting things on fire.
BUT. Keep things in perspective! Remember, childhood wasn’t always perfect. We like to think it is because we like to romanticize the past. We remember the snow days but forget the skinned knees. We relish in memories of going to the zoo but suppress anything having to do with the dentist.
Everything’s got a little good and a little bad. The past, the present, and the future. Today’s been a little good, a little bad. It’s okay to remember the fun parts of being little and cute and stuff (like no pimples, am I right?!) but don’t let that take away from your present. Because there’s plenty of good stuff here too.
Keep going. Keep living that awesome life of yours.