Saturday, December 19, 2015

Growing Younger

Growing Younger

I am finished with being a grown up. I want to play more. I want to eat ice-cream at the beach. I want to be more concerned about my toe polish than my bank account. I want to wear bright colors that remind me of crayons and finger paints. I want to laugh until I snort and honk like a goose. I want to sing in the grocery store and skip on my way out to the car. I want to grow younger as I age and I don’t want to have to make excuses or be made to apologize for my actions.

I want to feel that sense of gleefulness when we decide to go to the park. I want to get excited when they announce new Saturday morning cartoon shows next fall. I want to buy new sandals in every color and goofy sunglasses to match. I want to lie on my side, roll down a hill of grass and wildflowers, and not think once about grass stains or dirty smudges.

I want to love as if my heart has never been broken. I want to give 100% without hesitating because it might not work out. I want to run into old lovers and laugh for the joy of seeing an old friend. I want to make love like it is still new forbidden territory. I want to kiss with a giggle in my heart and a twinkle in my eye.

I want to go back to school and learn fun new things, like how to dance and sing. I want to learn about movies and ancient civilizations and hummingbirds and how to say, “I love you” in three different languages. I want to lose myself in books and not worry about book reports, homework, tests, or honor roll. I want to sit in the front row fascinated by a smart and enthusiastic teacher. I want to connect the dots and color outside of the lines.

I want to build towers with blocks just to knock them down and watch them fall. I want to make trails and paths with dominoes and then gently tap that first one so the others will fall down one at a time. I want to dress my cat in doll clothes, put him in an Easter basket, and drive him around on my bicycle in that basket swinging on the handlebars like when I was eight years old. I want to roller skate and play hopscotch.

I want to believe with all my heart that I could be an astronaut, a dancer, a rock star, or a race car driver if I just set my mind to it. I want a clean slate and all options still open. I want to feel that hunger to aspire to something great. I want to feel like I was put on this planet for a very special reason. I want to assume that the world wants my gift as much as I want to give it.

I want to trust strangers without giving it a second thought. I want to believe that adults actually have all of the answers and our best interests at heart. I want to feel safe and protected simply because my dad locked the front door before saying “goodnight.” I want to feel the invincibility and cockiness of youth. I want to believe in people’s potential despite their choices. I want to assume that I can talk my way out of anything.

I want a do-over with my first driving lesson, my first serious boyfriend, my first pregnancy, and my first job. I promise this time I will be braver, more honest, smarter, and I won’t take anything for granted. I want to feel the rush of all those firsts again. I want to take more pictures this time.

I want to nap in the sunshine and make whistles from wide pieces of grass. I want to catch ladybugs and fireflies. I want to tell ghost stories and suspect that they might come true. I want to run with grass stained bare feet. I want to get lost in make-believe and forget to go home for lunch.

I want to learn how to do cartwheels, backwards somersaults, and handsprings. I want to fall down with gusto and wear my wounds with pride. I want to climb trees and hold my breath as the tree sways with the wind. I want to play Dodge Ball and Four-Square and Duck Duck Goose.

I want to go to birthday parties with balloons and streamers. I want to look forward to growing another year older and tease my peers for being younger than me. I want to receive frivolous toys and funny new hats instead of kitchen appliances and useful tools. I want to spend weeks creating the perfect Halloween costume and I want to believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and Peter Pan.

I want to play Pong, Ms Pacman, and Donkey Kong. I want to recite riddles and puns. I want to know all the words to all those songs. I want to play pool and ping-pong, croquet, and badminton. I want to reread the Hobbit and Huckleberry Finn. I want to watch Batman, Underdog, and the Little Rascals.

Today I want to grow younger rather than wiser. I want to play hooky, no bosses, no chores, and no bills. I want to pull the kids out of school and run off to the zoo. I want to play at the park and rhyme like Seuss. I want to say, “Yes” to donuts and “No, thank you” to lima beans. I want to find a rainbow and chase a leprechaun. I want to teach my children the fine art of puddle jumping and leapfrog. I want to chase butterflies and make cookies. I want to see life as my playground. I want to believe in magic and love at first sight. Fearless and brave I want to shout, “Gimme more!”

Copyright 2008, 2014, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge

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