Sunday, October 27, 2013

Forever Young

“I am convinced that most people do not grow up...We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.”
― Maya Angelou

This morning, I puttered around my kitchen pretending, as I often do, to be a grown-up.  I fed my animals and I started a pot of strong coffee in the coffee machine that is barely limping along due to both overuse and neglect.  As the coffee brewed, MOST of me wanted to go ahead and sit down with a book while eating cereal but, sighing inwardly and embracing my pretend maturity, I unloaded the dishwasher instead.

I LOOK like a grown-up.  Those are READERS.And wrinkles.
I often act as a grown-up would.  I go to work most days.  I do my job to the best of my ability (most days).  I even sometimes create tangible things that go into magazines or that fly through the internet into e-mail inboxes. I write words that last. I pay my bills (usually on-time and SOMETIMES even ahead of time).  I behave responsibly as a parent, monitoring my kids' activity on the internet and (yes, still) even determining what movies are appropriate for their age and maturity level.  I even, within the past year or so, have started to go to bed in time to get a solid seven or even EIGHT hours of sleep every single night. 

I certainly do SOUND like a grown-up, don't I?  But the reality is that I FIGHT maturity every step of the way.

  • When it rains, I STILL want to put on red rain boots and splash through the puddles.  Sometimes I still do.
  • I don't WANT to go to bed at night and get a good night's sleep (so I will be able to THINK the next day and not react emotionally when the check-out clerk at the grocery store asks me if I can take my change in ones).  What I WANT to do is stay up and look up at the stars or read my books into the wee hours of the morning.
  • I forget my vitamins ALMOST every single day.
  • I still get a surge of exhilaration when I get an answer right or when I win a game.  I swear here and now that if I EVER beat Thing 1 at chess I will do a happy dance IN HIS FACE (I am grown-up enough to realize that I will probably never beat him at chess even though I TAUGHT HIM THE DAMN GAME).
  • I laugh like crazy over puns and corny jokes.  And I tell them over and over and over and over. I still laugh. 
  • I sometimes have dessert for dinner.  And I let my kids do the same.  
  • I whine when I don't get my way.  Intentionally.
  • I cry a lot and over things that don't matter even a little bit.  
  • Sometimes I want to run away.  Sometimes, I get a strong urge to get into my grown-up car Stella and ride with her into the night and then abandon her at some airport while I buy my one-way ticket to somewhere warm where I don't have to think so much and where I can go to bed late and wake up late and NOT have a dishwasher to unload.
I keep thinking that someone is going to "out" me and I will get my grown-up card taken away.  Perhaps if I continue to BEHAVE like a grown-up on the outside then I can still eat my dessert for dinner and go to bed whenever I want to without anyone in authority being the wiser.

Or maybe, as I continue to mature, I'll decide that it's not so bad being a kid in a grown-up body.  And I'll make a permanent hopscotch game on my driveway.  

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  1. This blog went straight to the heart of Kellyessence. It's what makes you utterly irresistible. There is no pretense about hiding that kid inside. When we feel like children, it's an elixir to wash away the mundane.

    Thanx! (Cause I know you would find the "x" fun in a Seussian kind of way.)

    1. "Kellyessence!" I LOVE THAT WORD, CHRIS!! :) I think I'll start sprinkling it liberally in my everyday conversations.


    2. You know over the years I've stuck Kelly in front of a lot of words. Much safer than trains.