There is very little difference between being 42 and 14
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I’d be free of homework, chores, mandated bedtime, mean kids who tease me, and bad skin. All the insecurity and self-doubt would melt away. I would be able to pull out all of my geek-infested roots.
I’m still waiting for that wonderful day to arrive. I think it turns out that when you grow up you are the same person you were as a kid, only taller. Let see…
Homework: I still have many forms of homework. There’s the endless paperwork to be done at work. If I have a deadline coming up and I can’t get it all done at the office I have to bring it home. And then there’s the kids’ homework. I may not be doing the addition facts and spelling practice myself, but I still have to make sure it gets done. Nevermind the endless forms that come home in the kids’ folders during the year that have to be filled out and returned.
Chores: I still have those but multiply the ones I had as a kid by 1000. When I was young I had to take the dog out and empty the dishwasher. Add to that the trash, cooking, cleaning bathrooms, laundry, cleaning pets’ cages, etc. Makes that dishwasher/dog thing of look pretty good!
Mandated bedtime: Ok, this one is a little different. Instead of fighting against bedtime, I welcome it. Bed is my friend.
Mean kids who tease me: While it may not be as “in your face” as it used to be, there are definitely still “cool kids” and “nerds”. Instead of school, the office is the new battleground. Some nerds get sweet revenge as adults. The really smart ones grow up to be the I.T. guys that no one can live without. When a cool kid’s computer breaks down, he is at the mercy of the kid whose ass he used to kick. There’s a certain beauty in that. But by and large, the shy and awkward kid grows up to be an equally shy and awkward adult. For me that is definitely the case. Now I’m just able to hide it better. I think so anyway… The same nagging questions linger: Will anyone eat lunch with me? What are people saying about me when I’m not there? Instead of being reluctant to ask the teacher a question for fear of looking stupid, now no one wants to look stupid in front of the boss. You can get laughed out of school, but you can get FIRED from your job.
Bad skin: Still have it. And here I thought zits were for adolescents. My skin is worse than ever. What’s up with that?
So is being 42 any different from being 14? Not so much. Was growing up the right thing to do? I don’t know but…
It seemed like a good idea at the time.