December 3 Reverb Broads Prompt: How did you become more of a grown-up this year? Or did you pull a Peter Pan and stubbornly remain childlike? via the short but sweet (her own words) Bethany at bethanyactually.com
I think I've been a grown up since I was 13. I'm one of those "old souls" or at least that's what I've been told repeatedly by kindly adults or protective grandparents. Divorce and serious responsibility and a natural predilection to overwhelming independence from birth will do that to you. My mother swears that even as a baby I couldn't fall asleep unless I was in my own bed, not being touched by anyone or anything. I'm still not a "cuddly sleeper." I did stupid things as a high school student. I wasn't a goody two shoes. But in general I look before I leap. I think twice. I check both ways before crossing the street. I married the wonderful nice guy. I own a home I can afford. I drive a reasonable car. I wear low heeled shoes when I know I'm going to be on my feet a lot. I vacuum the house before company comes over. I pay my bills on time. I show up to work when I say I will. I follow through.
I'm probably not the first friend you would invite to the wild new club that just opened downtown. Though I can't hold my liquor, I can only name a few times, including college where I embarrassed myself publicly. Does this make me dull? Does this make me a stuck up bore? Does this make me too old for my own good? Maybe a little. But does it make me happy? Absolutely. My childhood from 13 until college was filled with chaos and drama and bad decisions and family illness and serious dysfunction. I hate drama. I've had it with the drama. In my early twenties, with lots of therapy and family support I ended that up and down frenzy of drama within our immediate family. I opted out.
Am I perfect? Ha, I laugh in your general direction. No, oh no no no. But the structure of my life and my mental health is sturdy and peaceful and stable in a way that is lasting and concrete because I choose that everyday. I have things I need to work on. I have improvements and growth and experiences I seek. But at my core, I am a grown up. In the best way. I am grounded. But isn't it nice to fly like Peter Pan sometimes you ask? Could I play more and goof off more? Probably, but I've got nephews and a niece and honorary nephews and nieces that help me with that. I like to sit on the floor and play Connorville with my nephew Connor and all his Fisher Price Little People. I like to hear Aedan's imaginative stories and Jack's talk about his baby sister and going to the movies. And I could hold little Tierney all day. Those kids and kids in general keep that little Peter Pan inside of me alive, just a glimmer, a glimpse of green tights and pointy hat flying through the sky when I'm reading Dr. Suess or laughing at The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Because don't we all need to keep a bit of that Neverland spirit inside of us? I think you can be both young and old, mature and immature, childlike and grown up, but it's a balance. And my balance always leans closer to that solid, grassy soil, gazing up at those Peter Pans blazing through the sky and hoping they travel safely.
Today's prompt is for our brand new Reverb Broads
blogging group for December. In case you missed it, our group of
witty, lovely, intelligent bloggers will be writing on a variety of
clever, interesting, silly prompts for all 31 days of the month. Go here or here to learn more and join us in the writing madness!