My seven year old son has a way of challenging my perceptions at times. Tonight’s observation was around growing up, or rather, how not to.
“Why do people want to grow-up?” he asked me while we were having dinner. I have to admit that, after the day I’d had, coming up with an answer wasn’t easy, but I gave it my best. He listened patiently, asking questions from time to time or making comparisons to what he’s observed around him. I was feeling pretty good about how I’d framed things and then he hits me with, “but how come you aren’t always a grown-up?”
My husband is very much a “Peter Pan” kinda guy and there are moments when I am not sure who is a bigger challenge – him or our sons. In fact, I regularly joke around about having a 4, 7, and 52 year old when people ask me how old my kids are. I had sort of seen myself as the Wendy to his Peter Pan since I am generally the one who worries about the bills, ensures that meals include the major food groups, keeps some semblance of routine in the children’s lives, and makes the “grown up” decisions in our family unit. It was something of a shock to find out that my kids don’t view their dad as a big kid at all, but rather that is how they see me at times.
When I asked what it was that made him think I wasn’t always a grown-up he cited a number of things, but it all came down to the willingness and ability to play and pretend as the key difference between a grown-up and big kid who acts like a grown-up when they have to. “Daddy never wants to pretend his car is a space ship when we pull out of the driveway,” offered my son at the end of our conversation.
I guess I need to count myself the next time someone asks me how many kids I have.
Mairead Walpole is the pen name for a somewhat introverted project and contract manager who has 20+ years of business and technical writing under her belt. In her spare time, Mairead reviews books for Crystal Reviews (www.crystalreviews.com) and writes paranormal romance. Her first novel, “A Love Out of Time” is available through Second Wind Publishing (www.secondwindpublishing.com) or Amazon.com.