Sunday, February 26, 2006

When I Grow Up...

My youngest niece--of money-growing purse fame--turned six earlier this month, as I've heard her announce loudly to anyone unfortunate enough to mistakenly refer to her as five. Her heartfelt pronouncement, "I'm six!" reminds me of an animated bit that used to run on Sesame Street years ago (and may still for all I know), in which a little boy sits up in bed first thing in the morning and says, "I'm six years old today! I'm six years old today!" and then he leaps out of bed and begins bouncing around his room, singing, "I'm six! I'm six! I'm six years old today!"

Strange--when it's 36 (and then some), the impulse to dance around is considerably diminished.

Don't think, though, that I'm complaining about getting old (or older). I'm not of that mindset--at least not yet. Whenever I feel the urge to be overly sensitive of my age, I remind myself to consider the alternatives. It's get older or die, you know? I'm not sure how much longer that pragmatic approach will work in the face of wrinkles, creases and sags (Wrinkles, creases and sags! Oh my!), but for now, it's holding up.

In other age-related news, my next-to-the-youngest niece, older sister to Little Miss "I'm Six," saw me scribbling away in my trusty spiral notebook the other day. She said, "Do you want to be an author when you grow up?"

Now, if she were a few years older, that remark may've been laced with mockery and sarcasm (as are most comments out of the mouths of those in the early double-digit years of adolescence). After all, duh, I am a grown-up, right? And if I were gonna be anything when I grew up, one would think I might have wanted to get started on it sometime before now. But since my niece is only eight and said it with such sweet sincerity, it got me thinking about how even when we're stuck in the rut of our real lives and we think to ourselves, duh, it's too late for me to be anything different "when I grow up," maybe all those possibilities are still out there and maybe I'm not quite as grown up as I thought.

6 comments:

  1. I love this entry. I'm turning 36 this year too and we must be in the same place, mentally, with this whole age thing.

    And, it is NEVER too late to become what you want to be when you grow up. I haven't fully found what that is yet myself, but I think I'm getting closer. Best of luck with it!

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  2. grown up is a state of mind. out of your mind.

    trying being 41 and the exhausted parent of a toddler and when you think of jumping around, you wonder if the surgery to suspend your bladder will work...

    PLUS! you can still be an author even before you grow up :)

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  3. Being "grown up" is way over rated and definitely not required. At 55, I am on my 3rd career and looking for the next new adventure. Always keep growing , but never grow up!

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  4. i'm 43 and still working on what i want to be when i grow up - that little girl is one smart cookie.

    and as i am living through those double digit teenage years right now, i can say with authority..."what do they know?"

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  5. Just the other day I thought, I should be a nurse when I grow up. Then the reality hit me in the face and I thought, where in the heck would I get the time.

    I think we are never grown up because there is always someone older than us...that is what I am going with this week!

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  6. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one to have ever wallowed around in the is it too late/what's it all mean blues.

    Flamingess--Your comment reminds me of what I put in my high school year book as my ambition: "To never stop growing and changing." I thought I was being deliberately vague and aloof (while trying not to give away the fact that I didn't have a clue what I wanted to be when I grew up), but, looking back it actually seems kind of philosophical and wise. Or something.

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