We all grow up at some point. It’s an inevitable part of life. We inherit new responsibilities and we have to bravely navigate life’s ups, downs, and the everything in between. We typically don’t get any warning about what life has in store for us, but we make the best out of every situation we get dealt with.
Life as an adult doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always about our problems and responsibilities. I feel it’s important to take a break once in a while from that. It’s incredibly freeing to bask in the joys of the simple things in life such as taking a walk, enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe, or having a long conversation with a friend. Sometimes, we just want to recapture the feeling of what it’s like to be a kid again.
I’m a grown woman who still enjoys watching Disney movies and I’m not ashamed to go to a movie theater without having a kid with me as an excuse to see a “kiddie movie.” If the movie looks good to me, I’m watching it. I don’t always want to watch a more “grown up” film. You need the escapism from reality, where there’s a sense that everything will be okay no matter how bad things get. I want to be swept up and carried away into the heights of my imagination and feel as if nothing is ever impossible. This is why I don’t appreciate when someone presumes that because of my age, doing anything that’s labeled as “just for kids” isn’t something that would interest me. Or worst, you’re too old to want to do the kid stuff anymore.
When my coworker chatted with me on the elevator last week, I mentioned how I was going on vacation to Orlando, Florida in a couple of weeks. A friend of the family has a six-year-old boy who has never been to Disney World before and she wanted me, my mother, and older sister to come along to have fun and to bear witness to her son experiencing the indescribable feeling of standing in one of the happiest places on earth for the first time in his young life. It was also an opportunity for me and my immediate family to go on vacation before summer ends. My coworker raised a question I didn’t expect, “What are you going to do?”
I was utterly floored by that question. What am I going to do? What do you think? Go to the parks with this family friend and her son, of course! Ride every single ride I can. Watch the street parades they have. Eat as much as my stomach could allow. This is freaking Disney World!
I absolutely hated how it was somehow implied that because of my age, this stuff is no longer age appropriate for me. Do most people naturally forget what it’s like to just get back into that mindset of what it’s like to be a kid again and simply have fun when we get older? Is it so easy to lose that silly and giddy feeling we get when we’re in a place where we can play, laugh, and not have a care in the world? If that’s how it is for most adults these days, I don’t want any part of it.
I get it, life is tough and being an adult isn’t always easy. Things are messy, complicated, and sometimes life can just plain suck. But life doesn’t have to be such a burden either. What I appreciate about observing how kids live their lives is they simply enjoy each moment. They aren’t worried about things they might have done in the past and they aren’t worried about a future that isn’t here yet. They smile and laugh easily and they continue to play and have fun. Then they do it all over again the next day.
When we become adults, certain attitudes and behavior is expected of us. We’re supposed to act and be a certain way and we’re supposed to forsake all the kid stuff. As I get older, I don’t want to always have to be serious. I want to act silly and I want my eyes to sparkle with the wonder and beauty of watching your imagination come to life or at least using it in fun and magical ways. I know my future children will appreciate my ability to channel my inner-child and know what it is to play and put away your world weary problems for a day. I want to be able to play and engage with them and not be that parent who stands off to the side, waiting impatiently until they’re done so we can go home already. Life is what you make it out to be, and it should be equal parts fulfilling and fun.
As for how I answered my coworker’s question? “I don’t know. I’ll figure it out,” and I walked away as I smiled to myself.