Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to grow up. Oh, people have been telling me since I was a little girl that I am mature for my age, or that I'm an old soul. I do tend to think things through and enjoy a serious conversation. I worry about people and things, sometimes too much. But I think a lot of that comes from my childhood. There were situations that forced me to grow up faster than a lot of my peers. I still have a hard time just letting my hair down and doing silly things.
But there is that side of me that remains a child. How else would you explain my love of playing with glue and scissors and paper and beads and thread? Breaking into dance with my children in the kitchen when I should be making dinner? The fact that the most consistent job I've had over the last 28 years has been that of a babysitter? Telling stories and making up tales about people I see around me? And that I still am trying to decide whether to get old or to just pretend?
I remember the night I graduated from high school. It was about six in the morning and we had been hopping from friend's house to friend's house all night long. My best friend yawned and lay down on the carpet.
"I'm so tired," she said. "I'm going to take a nap and when I wake up I'll be mature since I've finally graduated." She woke up half an hour later and her first comment was, "It didn't work."
I still wake up every morning and wait to see if I feel any different. It hasn't happened yet. There is still a teenager deep inside who looks at the kids calling her mom and wonders how on earth they are catching up in age. Underneath the thoughts of all the things that need to be done during the day, there is still that little girl who wants to run off and play with her friends and then come home and write about all her adventures. As long as the bills get paid and the kids get fed, no one will know my little secret, right? After all, isn't growing up optional?