Friday, August 12, 2005

The Child in Me

Today, I took my kids to their first day of school. They got to spend about thirty minutes in their classrooms meeting their teachers and getting settled.

It's hard to believe that both of my kids will be in school this year. My son has been waiting for this day for at least the last two years. He ran into his class today and announced, "Hi!" at the top of his lungs. This brings back all of my favorite memories from childhood.

Last month, Jeff tagged me with a meme regarding the five things you miss most about childhood. I was on an unpublicized blogging hiatus at the time, but I've been thinking about it since then.

1) The thing I miss the most about childhood is going back to school at the start of each year. There was just something about starting new with a clean slate every September that I loved. I don't think adults have anything similar to that.

2) I also miss playing pretend. I was the kind of kid who always had some elaborate pretend universe going on in my head. The truth is that I still do that as an adult. But as a kid, it's neat. As an adult, it can land you in the insane asylum.

3) And I really miss being so active that I could eat anything I wanted and never gain weight. Of course that set me up for some poor eating habits as an adult. But it was sure fun then. Ah, metabolism. How I miss you.

4) I also miss not giving a fuck what people think of me. I was never the kind of kid who tried to fit in. I did what I wanted and figured everyone else was just missing out. I'd dance like no one was watching. Laughed like no one cared. Wore whatever I liked. And sang at the top of my lungs at the drop of a hat. Damn, I miss that.

5) And lastly, I miss having a universe of possibilities at my fingertips. When I was 12 I was going to be an oceanographer. Or a professional softball player (though I'd have to found a league first). Or a lawyer. Or a writer. Or a mother. Or all five.

I know some people would like to go back and do it all again. I wouldn't. I'm very happy to be me and I wouldn't change a thing. I also wouldn't want to have to go through puberty again. I'm looking forward to menopause as it is.

But I'm lucky. Because I get to experience it all again through the eyes of my own kids. I'm just as excited for the new school year as they are. I can't wait to go pick out new lunch boxes with them.

I love my kids so much. And I'm so very proud of them. This year will bring a lot of changes. But I'm ready to embrace them with my 32-year-old heart. Somewhere down deep, the ten-year-old inside of me is doing cartwheels with her skirt up around her nose.

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