Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On Growing Up

It snuck up on me - because I had spent my whole childhood waiting to be bigger, so that I could stay up later. So that I could get my ears pierced. So that I could drive. So that I could go to college. So that I could get married.

And here I am. I can do all of those things. I did do all of those things. And more than anything, I just want to go back.

I watch my sisters pile into a car together and I know when they get home they will continue to hang out, maybe watch a movie, probably talk until the lights go off, probably talk after the lights go off. And I want to be there too.

I think about what to do next, which task to take on, and remember when I did not have things to do or responsibility to anyone. I woke up and read a book. I ate lunch and played outside. I enjoyed family dinner and watched military tv shows with my brother and my dad. I went to bed. That was nice.

Now I sit and feel guilty just sitting when there are weeds growing up in my garden which I should pull. And there is mold in my bathroom that I need to clean. But I just sit and try to relax my mind and allow myself to just sit and not feel responsible or obligated, only indulge in a carefree moment. This is hard to do.

I don't have regrets - except that I wish I had savored it more. Except that I know even when there were people telling me to savor it, don't grow up to fast, being an adult really isn't that much fun ... I didn't listen.

Now I look around and wonder why my baby cousins are driving. How are they taller than me? Why does my grandfather look so very old? When did my parents become my friends and not my protectors?  Why am I now holding my mother up in an icy parking lot? Wasn't it really not that long ago that she took my hand to make sure I didn't fall? When did my family become so spread out across the country? I think it was just a moment ago we were all together in the same place ...

I am not sad about where I am now. I just want to capture as many of those joyous childhood memories as I can, because it was actually, despite what I told my parents or how my thirteen year old self was feeling, actually lovely. At least I can reminisce with a smile on my face. I know I am lucky.

This week especially, growing up has been very hard.

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