You want to grow up, don’t you? You desperately want to leave childhood behind and embrace adulthood. This is why you wrap your body in a bed sheet and pretend it’s a sari or inspect your face in the bathroom mirror looking for facial hair. You can’t wait to grow up.
Each time you get to make a wish, while blowing out the birthday candles, blowing away a fallen eyelash or at a flying kingfisher, you wish you would grow up faster.
And why wouldn’t you want to grow up? When you are an adult, you are free and independent. You don’t need to answer to anyone. You can go anywhere you like and do whatever you like.
Your parents can’t force you to stay at home. There’s no homework to do. No one bullies you and you can wear whatever you like.
Sounds like a dream, right? Adulthood is all that, true. It is about being free and independent. It is about being responsible. So then why is it that all adults want to go back in time to their childhood?
Have you ever wondered why someone would want a life full of boundaries and rules when they can live freely without answering to anyone?
Here’s the truth about adulthood. Sure, adults have freedom and independence but they are bound to their families, jobs and society and can’t fully make use of this freedom and independence. You’d think adults can do whatever they want whenever they want to, but most study while working. Jobs often require people to be at office from 9am to 5pm (that’s like staying after school every single day.) Once adults get home, they have shopping, cooking and cleaning to do. They also have work to complete because even though the work day ends at 5pm, the work doesn’t end there.
While you fight about your bedtime and demand to be allowed to stay up an hour longer, adults wish they could go to bed at nine or 10 simply because they are too exhausted to stay awake beyond that.
You want to grow up and it is understandable. You have this amazing picture of what adulthood is. But the truth is that there’s no better time in one’s life as childhood. Speak to your parents and ask them to share their childhood memories with you.
They will talk about playing cricket with their cousins and the countless windows they’ve broken. They’ll talk about cycling down roads, the wind dancing through their hair. They’ll talk about swatting mosquitoes as they watched the sunset and the sky change to a thousand different colors. They’ll talk about visits to the zoo or a carnival. They’ll talk about their favorite ice cream, toffees or drinks. They’ll talk about licking the icing off chocolate biscuits before eating the biscuits. They’ll talk about the small biscuits with colorful blobs of icing on them. They’ll talk about the traffic light popsicles that turned their tongues red.
And you’ll realize they’re talking about the very things you do now, except they don’t remember complaining about the heat or wanting to grow up. They don’t recall how much they swore they hated their parents for not letting them skip school. They won’t remember the mallung and vegetables they were forced to eat. They won’t remember any of the things you spend hours complaining about.
If you think your life sucks and that it’s terrible, compare your life to the memories of your parents. Don’t you see that you have the life they left behind? Don’t you see that you have the carefreeness and innocence of childhood?
Appreciate what you have because in a few years’ time, you’ll be part of a world where you won’t have the time or freedom to play cricket until it’s so dark you can’t see the other players, cycle up and down dusty roads or fill your tummy with lollipops and ice cream.