Somewhere along the way, I grew up. I handle money matters. I grocery shop. I show up for my classes everyday, make it to rehearsal (mostly) on time, study for tests, apply for and attend jobs, clean up after my own dishes (and unfortunately, some others that aren’t quite as mine), and pick up my room when it’s a mess. I’m living a life.
I used to be horrified at the idea of adulthood. I spent much of my 12th birthday in tears because I received a card that said I was now a “young woman”. I hated the word “woman”. It implied something more along the lines of a trapped creature, slaving away in front of an oven, in servitude to men and everything that they appeared to be much more capable of. It spoke of less laughter, less playfulness, less imagination, and a sharp decline in Barbies and baseball.
But Peter Pan, I have discovered, is quite mistaken. Yes it is true that I have developed a somber side to my personality, but looking back I find that it has always been there. I was reading Russian novels before I achieved any kind of puberty (perhaps acne had reared its hideous head). I call that a somber side to be sure. I find I laugh even deeper, I love stronger, I’m just as playful as ever (I even have a toy box!) and my Barbie collection is one of the last things I see before I go to sleep. I even play with them on occasion, when the apartment is empty. I don’t know who determined that responsibility meant less fun, but I find it gives me more license to be so. I sincerely pity those grown-ups who have forgotten the joys of Otter Pops, Toys R Us, running around in sprinklers, and other such enjoyments.
Thanks Dad, for reminding me constantly throughout my life that “adult” is not a synonym for “boring”.