Growing up. Getting older. If you know me, you’ve probably heard me say “we never grow up – we just get older” in conversation. There are many instances where that saying seems to apply. There are others where I realize we’ve grown up.
We no longer have the days of precious training wheels. Peddling around on our bikes with little fear of falling. We no longer have the strong arms of our father to run into. It’s a cold Christmas morning. No longer are the days of innocent childish fighting or wrestling. We break bones instead of toys. We hate for days instead of moments. A simple smile is no longer enough to break the deadlock of a bad attitude.
No more sleepless nights from anticipation of a birthday or holiday. No longer any days to look forward to with such childish ambition. Birthdays have become an afterthought. Perhaps it’s childish to miss the days of streamers and brightly-colored cakes. Perhaps it’s weak to miss the embrace of a father. Perhaps it’s wrong to identify that we’re no longer children in our fighting; we’ve learned to throw the blows that really hurt. Yet we are no more grown up in our childish tendency to throw these punches.
There are no more moments where we spend quiet afternoons reading children’s books. My legs can no longer fit lengthwise between the walls on the stairs. No more wondering what the outside world looked like. It’s all here and it’s here now. I miss those days of childhood innocence. I’d give anything to take back those moments on 8th avenue on September 3rd. It’d be nice to see things with a renewed sense of wonder that can only come from never experiencing them. The doors have been opened.
There was a time where we could be thrown into the air at the pool. We were light. We were light from not knowing the burdens of adulthood. Broad shoulders and arms that could lift anything. Goodbye, Superman.
Looking back. A bittersweet gift that once never existed; everything was ahead with anticipation and bright looking-forward-to. Sweet sixteen. College. First car. First kiss. First dance. First job. First apartment. First cell phone. First…you name it. No more anticipation. Life is here and it’s staring you in the eye. Stuff’s not going to get done on it’s own, son.
There were once a lot of things to look forward to. Not so much, now. On the other hand, we used to shed tears so quickly. Now we really know the cost of them when they fall. Sticks and stones.
There are moments where I look at the big picture of life and question everything.
Son, we’re not kids anymore. No more comforting father to bring us back together and tell us to make up. We’re on our own. On our own.
No more pine needles, plywood train tracks, animal slippers, sleepless nights from wrapping, comforting hugs, carpet walls, or hidden tears. No more staring sideways at a wall of VHS tapes. No more dimpled blue glasses filled with kool-aid. No more walks in the forest. Everything has a price. Childhood innocence may never return but the love we have as adults is one that has a price and a cost. Nothing is more important. I finally understand that.
Putting my thoughts together, I am deeply saddened by events that have happened recently and within the past few years. Family is an inseparable bind within my heart and it feels as if it’s slipping.