Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Forgetting About Growing Up

Black Hockey Jesus mentioned on his blog that spite is the shadow of tenderness. I'm paraphrasing, so you should toddle over there and read his post because BHJ is the Mack Dad and his pimp hand is mad strong, yo. But enough about him, I'm just going to continue on before I decide that incorporating gangsta phases into my daddy-blog is a bad idea.

I took the kids for ice cream the other night and on the way down we saw some short people on the front lawn of the school having cheer leading practice. Sis was totally into this as she just got a set of pom-poms of her very own. So I took my sticky children to cheer leading practice.

As soon as we got there she wanted to run over and ask if she could play too. Since our babysitter and her mom seemed to be in charge of the whole thing I let her go. She came pounding back in tears (she was wearing puddle boots because they were the only footwear that we could find both of) saying that they wouldn't let her play. It seemed like only a short jump of logic for me that of course she couldn't play because you probably had to be in the third grade, and sign up in advance, and pay to be at cheer leader practice.

She went off on a huge crying jag and eventually they took pity on her and told her she could come sit by the girls while they worked on the verbal part of the exercise (Go Team!) She felt better and we went home as the group dispersed. Then she started in on it not being fair to be too little for everything and to have everyone call her little girl (she is five after all) and growing up taking too long.

I was starting to get ticked off at her until I recalled sticking up for a young friend of mine. He's nineteen and checking off things on the list of stupid stuff you do when your nineteen. Some of his friends that are a decade older are a fed up with him and sick of him using being nineteen as an excuse.

Except that it is.

You can't just wish people to grow up. You can't even wish it on yourself. It just has to happen.

I wracked my brain all night for a good story to tell Sis about something that took me a long time to get in to and get good at. A lot of poor examples came to mind, then I hit on the swim team. I joined in seventh grade because all my friends joined. I was terrible at it for the first five years, but all I really remember from that time was swimming with my good friends, carrying on, making friends with the other teams, trying to kiss girls on the bus, all that stuff.

It wasn't until the end of my junior year that I ever won an event. After that I went on to become a pretty fair threat in my events. I was co-captain with my best bud, I set some records, I managed to kiss some girls. I barely remember any of the accomplishments. I just remember the camraderie, the enjoyment I got from just doing something with people I liked.

I'm still working out how to get the experience in to terms that a five-year-old will dig, and to get it in before her attention wavers. But anyway, the first point is to not get frustrated with people for not growing up. You were pissing someone off the whole time you were doing it, so lighten up. The second thing is to make sure you and those around you don't miss out on the ride trying to get to the destination. Adulthood is great, but I'd take a year of being five again over the year I'm having right now in the blink of an eye.


Am I doing okay? said...

I'm pickin' up what you're layin' down.

'That Girl' said...

me too.

And nineteen is a stupid, stupid age..