Why Grown-up is Glamorous (When You’re Five)

IMG_0902“I can’t wait to be a grown-up!” H exclaims.

“Really?” I ask. “Um… Why?”

I can’t imagine what I do that looks so freaking exciting. Sometimes, I’d much rather be coloring, or dressing up in a Disney Princess costume, tiara and light-up “glass” slippers and twirling aimlessly around the living room.

“Because grown-ups get to eat at the raw bar,” H says. She covers her mouth with one hand before adding, quietly, “And say fresh words!”

“And grown-ups get to stay up late,” S chimes in.

They don’t yet know that “late” is only about 30 seconds after they’re tucked in (for the third time) snugly into their beds, and that I barely managed to stay awake through dinner. They also don’t know that “Sleep” with a capital S – hell, a capital everything – has been seriously overdue on my grown-up to-do list for, oh, let’s say the last five years 😉

I won’t tell them that staying up late – and grown-up-ness, in general – isn’t quite as glamorous as it looks. That, while I wouldn’t trade the life I have for anything, at the moment, I’m up to my ears. Multitasking. Worrying about loved ones. About health, safety, sanity, balance, finding my way. Making it all work. Wondering if I’m not doing it right. Learning not to worry about others who think I’m not doing it right. Channeling the positive and learning to let go of the negative: in myself, and in others in spite of myself.

Yes, that glitter glue and finger-paint is sounding better by the minute.

I know there will be some point, years from now, where my girls will miss these days, or at least the simplicity of them. Right now, it’s my job to protect (and enjoy) the innocence I wish we could all hold onto for a little (or maybe a lot) longer.

As if I have a chance of convincing them that being a grown-up isn’t cool. If they could, they’d be using my grown-up “powers” to watch every episode ever made of Jake and the Neverland Pirates in a row, buy every Ariel doll that exists for minimal scene interruption during imaginative play, and put powdered sugar and sprinkles on every variety of breakfast food. Just to start.

“You’re a grown-up. You can do whatever you want,” one of them always reminds me. Usually when I’m reminding them we CAN’T do something.

I have no idea where they get this from. Things I’m sure I’ve passed along include: “That’s NOT appropriate.” “That’s NOT acceptable behavior.” And, unfortunately, on occasion, “Oh crap.” However, they most often like to tell me whenever I say it (instead of something worse) that it is NOT appropriate and NOT acceptable.

I’m fairly certain I’ve never reacted to anything by saying, “I’m a grown-up. I can do whatever I want.” But since I’m just in that kind of mood today, I’m going to go with it. I’ll follow up this morning’s not-so-successful good intentions with a cupcake from Crumbs Bake Shop. Just because I can.

Yes, sometimes being a grown-up has its perks. Thanks, girls.

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