“I wish I liked anything as much as my kids like bubbles.” – Knocked Up
In my tens (not sure if that’s the best way to describe ages 0-10 but ’tis what it is), I hated playing with Barbies yet my friend would come over every freaking day with a suitcase full of mini clothes and mini plastic shoes and a corvette and weird pegs that were supposed to be rings that you had to stick through Barbie’s hand hole and she’d look at me all crazy-barbie-eyed and say with way too much enthusiasm, “wanna play BARBIES?!?” No, no I didn’t. It just didn’t make any sense to me to sit and dress them in clothes and put the same plastic shoe on the same plastic foot 10 times before it would stay on, and then pretend these little dolls were talking to each other when instead I could be roller skating in circles for hours in the basement with the radio blaring 80’s music. Give me a pile of Lincoln Logs, do cartwheels with me in the front yard, or give me a bucket of crayons and I was happy.
In my teens, fun turned from finger painting to riding my bike all the way to the pool to meet up with friends and giggle about boys. And a few years later we could be found driving around town smoking with all the windows down so our parents wouldn’t smell the funk later, or sitting at Baker’s Square or Denny’s for hours clam-baking with all the other smokers crammed in the little booths drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee that no sane teenager should ever consume in one day.
In my 20’s, I gave up my Baker’s Square coffee for dancing on bars with my sisters and friends, singing at the top of my lungs to live bands with my head swimming from too much beer until 3am. I was happy, I was carefree, I had far too much energy for my own good. Those were some great times.
And in my 30’s, I’ve found that having a little one in her tens has actually brought me back full-circle. Although I’ve discovered toddlers are the epitome of ADD – “color? play doh? outside? color? snack? book? keys? rocking horse? Wiggles? COLOR? COLOR? COOKIE!” – it’s fun. Like really really fun. With her, I get to color little hearts and stars all over construction paper again. I get to draw on my driveway with chalk and no one drives by with stink eye wondering who the grown up is drawing people and dogs and balloons and coloring them in with the focus that should be reserved for an intense game of beer pong. (I miss you, beer pong. I love you. Call me.) I get to eat goldfish and Cheerios by the handful.
I get to take walks down the street and notice every pine cone, leaf, bird, squirrel, tree, stop sign, airplane, house, person, rock and truck because I have someone walking next to me yelling BIG TRUUUUUUCK!! every time one goes by…you know…just in case I didn’t see the really big truck.
I had forgotten how awesome it was to be a kid, and luckily now I have a short little person doing a really good job of reminding me. Now if only I could figure out how to work a little of this into my days…