Life’s great at all ages

I saw one of those posts on a friend’s Facebook which said, “I’ve realized that being a grown up is simply not going to work for me.” Made me laugh. I remember being a teenager and hearing adults tell me, over and over, and over again: “Enjoy these years. These are the best years of your life.” I always got sort of a panicked feeling, mostly because if my teenage years truly were the best years of my life, well, then it was obvious to me that the rest of my life was going to SUCK.

I’m one of those people who enjoy being an adult. I do.

I like work. I like being married. I like being a mom. I like being a grandmother. I like that I decide when I am going to bed, and I like that if I don’t like a food, I don’t have to eat it and there’s nobody to give me any nonsense about taking 3 more bites or some such thing. If I look like a dork, it’s my own fault because I’m the one who picks out my clothes, and I can drink coffee without someone telling me it will stunt my growth (oh, if only)

So yes, on the whole, I’d say that being an adult works for me, but I must confess, I do enjoy seeing the world through a child’s eyes.

Winter has hit here, and there is no sign that it is going to let up anytime soon. I am not a winter fan. I have aches and pains that get markedly worse in the winter. I also don’t like scraping cars, and driving in the snow and ice and being cold, andwellI don’t like winter.

However, I completely forgot that when I was in a classroom as the first cry of “It’s snowing!” went up. The kids were agog and we went outside. It’s easy to forget you don’t like winter when you’re dancing with your arms outstretched in it with a group of excited kidlets.

We do not have a dishwasher. Washing dishes is one of those jobs that is done because it needs doing. It’s a boring job. Dull as dishwater, you might even say. (I crack myself up!) However, when I start the water in the sink and William is around, he drops what he is doing immediately. He pushes a chair to the sink and clambers up. To him, washing dishes is about the most fun you can have. He loves the bubbles, he loves the water, he loves splashing. He loves putting the dishes in the strainer.

By the time we’re done, he’s usually managed to get a fair amount of water on himself, the chair, counter top and floor. It usually takes twice as long because when we run out of dishes, he likes to grab some of the clean ones from the strainer and dump them back in the sink. Eventually, I’ll get tired of having so much fun, and I will lift him down from the chair, and move the chair back under the table.

My friend related a story. She was in San Francisco on a business trip, and it was a stressful business trip, so she took 20 minutes out of her day to treat herself to a soft pretzel. She’s Canadian and soft pretzels are not a ‘thing’ where she lives, so having that pretzel was a pretty big deal to her. She was standing on Pier 39 watching the sea lions and had just taken her first bite out of her pretzel. Much to her amazement, she felt a thump on her head, and a greedy sea gull reached down and snatched the pretzel from her startled fingers and flew off.

Cheryl was perturbed. Very perturbed. She had just paid $5 for a soft pretzel which she was now watching a bird enjoy as he bobbed up and down in the water. She had had a busy stressful day and all she wanted to do was eat her darned pretzel and laugh at the antics of the sea lions for awhile. Outraged, she turned to see a delighted six year old boy. Wide-eyed and hopping excitedly, he begged her, “Can you do that again? Please?”

Kids see the world quite differently than an adult, and it’s fun to borrow their perspective for a while. You get such gems as ‘Why did the gum cross the road?’ (Answer? Because it was on the chicken’s foot.) Building a tower out of blocks that will reach clear to the moon becomes an achievable goal. There is nothing more exciting than blowing bubbles, and unlike the Mideast, most conflicts, no matter how heated, are resolved with a time out.

I left my childhood behind many, many years ago, but discovered once again that Madeline L’Engle was right: “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” I haven’t.

Want to pass me a crayon?