Friday, July 30, 2010

When I Grow Up

Someone once asked "When do you know for sure you have/or are grown up?

One answer was it comes to pass when you purchase your first home. This struck me as very true-it's rather frightening while of course exciting!  Suddenly your signature is there etched upon quite a multitude of official papers committing you to many years of undeniable responsibility.

Of lately, I've had another revelation of deciding when one may feel like a grown up.  This time my thinking involves watching my own children take on new experiences and also in watching other younger children engage in activities my once young children used to partake in regularly.  Each of these instances left me feeling suddenly very grown up...well, o.k, perhaps a little "older"!

My children are suddenly old enough to make certain decisions regardless of my approval or disapproval and while that leaves me feeling grown-up I also feel a little less in control of what happens next!  Control...the nice part of being grown call the shots!   
The young children I had been observing at play on the nearby sand hill could easily have been my own about 15 years ago.  There they were gathering items, helping each other carry said items into the woods to create a well planned fort.  Funny how while things change so much they really never do!

Growing up also means realizing everything changes ...everything that we hold fast to can change without any notice, without our approval, without our being able to keep that change from occurring!   One of the things I have begun to think about more than ever before is losing my parents.   Most recently someone I know lost one of their parents and only a very very short time after lost their other parent.  It's hard enough to even fathom the thought of such things happening but we know inevitably they do and knowing that certainly don't imagine losing both at the same time!  I recall when my Mom's Mother died and her telling me how much you can't imagine can't begin to realize what that does to you.   Of course we know we are all going to die but to truly have to consider the idea so concretely frightens one and leaves you completely at a loss for how to understand and move forward from such an experience.

All anyone can do is to live every day like you are a child discovering everything for the first time, embrace learning and never be afraid to admit to having learned-regardless of how smart you think you are, say hello to people as you pass, be prepared to offer a helping hand to someone...yes, even a stranger, take opportunities as they present themselves and love 'til it hurts to imagine losing the ones you love, there is no other way and while hurting you also experience the most soul felt, life affirming, heart filling wonder ever!
...And sing like no-one is listening!

I am grown up because I know enough to  take the time to be a kid once in a while and encourage children to be children as much as possible!

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!

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