Funny thing is, they never tell you the "true facts" about growing up.
Not Mom or Dad. Not your teachers. Surely, not your brothers or sisters or your supposed friends. Not even the good ones.
No one ever tells you what growing up is really like.
And we certainly don't always like it. Or what happens while we do it. While we are trying to do it right.
The rules for growing up may have changed since we were doing it, or attempting to do it. I'm not sure, but it seems like the game plan has changed along the way.
I look at what my parents did and what they told us to do and more often, what not to do. Did it anyway. That's part of growing up, right? Afraid so.
So, we spend about the first fifteen years saying things like, "I'm almost 9. I'm 11 and 3/4's. I'm going to be 14 this year. I can't wait to turn 7, 8, 10, 13...start wearing a bra! Kiss my first boy! (Olden days) First girl! Or kiss a damn frog. Kiss something!"
You can bearly remember going from diapers to training pants (no Pampers, then). Things were more 'real' then. Cotton. Not chemically treated absorbant paper products. Upon which, we place our precious babie's bottom skin. For shame! Yet, so convenient and 'modern.'
Loved to watch my mom put on mascara and pretty dresses, which she filled out; something I never imagined I would ever do. Barely ever did, till I hit my fifties. They say, "Some things never change." I 'm here to tell ya, "Lots of things change." And grow. And grow. And like the comedians often tell us..."and growing in places you never deamed of seeing stuff grow."
Kids wanting to be teenagers. Teens wanting to be adults. All of us wanting to get out of school; graduate, graduate again and again and get on with life. Get a cool job. (screeching halt) Where did all the cool jobs go?
So, maybe dad's job wasn't super cool afterall. He gained weight, drank too much, yelled at us, looked so sad and talked about "stress," a little known substance to us little kids, at the time. We all have had a taste of those menu selections, now, haven't we?
But Dad was super cool on so many other levels (though, at the time, Dad had no idea what those other levels were). Scratches head. He did that a lot. Now, I know why. With all the wanted kids, came all the stress that accompanies raising a big family. And yet, they seemed to 'have it all.'
Or so we thought.
Then it became 'our turn.' Our time to grow up; leave the nest, find a substantial living, because, Lord knows, 'it takes a village' to build one and to work one's way up the invisible ladder to God knows where. Had to be somewhere, though. It was expected, after all. We've all been there at one time or another.
Me thinks the time for growing up is now. All that time, when we were little, wanting to be older, grow up fast, get to wherever we thought we were going to get to... and now we are where we are. Somewhere over or under the rainbow, we have, indeed, arrived.
Some may say it is exactly where they want to be, are meant to be, dreamed to be, hoped to be and so on. Others may react a bit differently to this outcome. Others may wonder to this day, why they wanted to grow up in the first place. What was the big hurry? What could be done differently, to effect a different reality. Regrets, hindsight, awesome delight, denial, joy and many combinations of all that there is waiting for us when we do, in fact, grow up.
In some ways, I don't ever remember the exact time of arrival. The train attendant announced the destinations, one after the other, but I was somewhere else...hoping to be somewhere promised and unknown . Dreaming of being a kid again; the fun we had, the carefree days, weeks, months and years that melted into now. The popsicles in the summer by the lake...any lake.
I had one today, even though it had crystalized from being in the freezer too long (you know what I mean), but who cares? It's a yummy popsicle and a purple one to boot! Every frosty bite and lick of it's juiciness, reminded me of my childhood, it's amazing innocence, it's pranks, it's growing pains and it's resultant presence.
I was (am) happy to be in the now. It wasn't all for naught. It was incredible to take a little break from the inevitable, to sit outside on an uncomfortable chair and taste the sweetness of my youth in a moment of reflection. The sun hitting my face till it tingled a little (taking in the Vitamin D), remembering what it was like to be small and hyper (like my grand kids) and relish in the memories.
In all our moments...we are making memories. There is no going back. No remorse or thoughts of what could have been. Only our precious now...and the ability to look forward, one day at a time, knowing that there 'was' a time, when all this seemed a distant and strange conjuring of mysteries to come.
Whatever it is... it is here now.
Photo credits to Graydon and Sydney Rose (my Grand babies, of course)