Growing up is an interesting thing. It has its ups and downs, its interesting moments and its boring moments, its happy times and sad times, and so many other feelings. I discussed in my last column one of the sad things that is part of growing up. But there are so many other feelings than that.
One of the most common feelings that I know kids my age have is the want-nothing-to-do-with-their-parent feeling. I think this is because it makes them feel like they’re a lot older, which is a common desire in my grade. At the same time, though, there are some ways in which they don’t want that separation. For instance, I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t like to get a hug from their mom or dad, even if they protest outwardly.
I think that wanting to grow up is somewhat slowed (temporarily) by an experience like the one I had in NY for my grandmother’s funeral. As you sit there, with your mind on it, you start to feel like, in just a few days, what you thought you wanted to be – grown up. It’s hard enough on you just to sit there and support yourself, but when you’re grown up, you’re expected to do it for others, too. After that little taste of what you’ve been dreaming about, it suddenly becomes a lot less shiny.
Another part that pushes kids away: responsibility. When you were a kid, I’m pretty sure you had chores. They might have been shared with a sibling, or done by yourself (like mine). They might have been laundry, watching your little brother/sister, or sweeping. Some of mine include clearing the table, taking out the trash/recycling, and bringing in logs for our fireplace. I know a fair amount of kids, and none of them enjoys doing chores. Not one. But I don’t really think adults like their chores either.
They would rather be sleeping, playing a video game, reading, or doing any number of other things. On the other side, though, every one of them knows that, once you’re an adult, there’s a whole lot more on the chore list.
Now here’s another reason: the examples we see. Any kid could look at any adult, whether lying on a huge bed in the middle of a huge mansion, or walking up and down the street with a cardboard sign, and see a lot on that person’s mind. They can see stress, worry, and sometimes sadness. To a kid, part of being young is about having fun and not having to deal with too many of those things.
When you were a kid, did you want to be grown up? Did any of these reasons give you any doubts? Let me know in the comments below.