Like most kids, I spent my youth wishing time would speed up so I could finally become an adult. Like a mantra, I constantly grumbled to myself, “I can’t wait till I’m older. I can’t wait till nobody can ever tell me what to do again. I can’t wait till I can stay up till whenever I want, buy whatever I want, go wherever I want. I can’t wait till I’m free to do anything I like, whenever I like…”
Well it sure wasn’t long before my wish came true.
As an adult I discovered that I finally had the freedom to: (1) buy whatever I want (most of which I can’t afford); (2) eat whatever I want (except if I do, I won’t be able to fit into any of my clothes, all of which are bargain basement vs. designer); (3) go wherever I want (as long as I’m back home before the street lights come on so I can be up in time for work five days a week); (4) do whatever I want (after I’ve discussed it with my spouse); (5) not allow anyone to tell me what to do (except for my boss, my spouse, my kids, my doctor, my banker, society, etc.); and so on. You get the gist.
Little did my child self know that the joys of adulthood would also include: (1) increasingly achy joints, along with other my-body-is-falling-apart-faster-than-an-overstuffed-hard-shell-taco health issues; (2) a burgeoning intolerance to loud and intrusive noise of any kind—particularly where neighbors are involved; (3) the realization that pretty much nothing you purchase is actually a good deal; (4) bills, bills and more bills for totally boring stuff like a new roof, car repairs, taxes; and (5) learning that: surprise!—life’s not fair; no matter who you vote for, there’s always an asshole at the top making chimpanzee-level decisions; you have a lot less control than you thought you had when it comes to any form of interaction within the confines of the human race; unless you’re Helen Mirren, your window of opportunity for wearing a bikini without appearing as if you’re desperate to regain your lost youth closes with a wham after a certain age.
So, now here I am—a full-fledged adult—wishing I could be a kid again.
If I were to:
Wish upon the brightest star,
Catch fireflies inside a jar,
Ditch my car and ride a bike,
Switch “hell” and “damn”
With “rats” and “yikes,”
Race outdoors to build a fort,
Guzzle Kool-Aid by the quart,
Play Barbies with the kid next door
And hopscotch till my feet are sore,
Read the comics instead of the news,
Wear only scruffy running shoes,
On Saturday mornings, watch cartoons,
Make farting noises with balloons,
Make sure I’m indoors every night
Upon the glow of outdoor lights,
Fight to stay up far too late,
Keep ignorant of time or date,
Do some homework every day
But always find the time to play.
Do you think if that is what I did,
I could just go back and be a kid?