I went to the park with my family some time ago. Going to a playground is something I hadn’t done in a while, so I couldn’t keep myself from testing how far up I could climb on the monkey bars and how high I could ride the swings before flying all the way to the emergency room.
“I’m not sure who’s having more fun: you or them (our kid nephews),” my brother in law said, bemused.
When you’re a kid, you get away with doing certain activities that are only acceptable to society for a certain age bracket, like jumping in a bouncy house or eating dessert for breakfast. But if you do them as an adult, you get branded as immature, which is sad because you have to admit, there are just some things you can’t outgrow.
I made a resolution a long time ago that no matter how old I get, I’ll never stop doing certain things that brought me joy as a kid. Because if a law was ever passed that people past their teens are mandated to act as adults, you’d have to just visit me in jail for still enjoying simple things like:
Dressed-up ice cream
If you’ve never had ice cream and thought, “Hmm, this could use a whole lot of something,” you’ve never had a proper childhood. See, a bowl of plain old ice cream seems like just that to an adult, but to a kid (or a kid at heart), it’s a blank slate waiting for something gooey, marshmallowy, or candy-coated to make it sooo much better.
They’re brightly colored, differently shaped, and create hours upon hours of building fun. And no matter how much it hurts to step on them in the dark or pry apart the skinny ones when you stick them together extra tightly, there really is something about constructing a colorful masterpiece then getting upset when your friends can’t guess what it is.
And no, I don’t just mean Harry Potter. I still pore over Goosebumps and Archie comic books and sometimes borrow a Sweet Valley Kids book from my sister (who, at 31, is another woman-child). While my taste in the literary arts has matured over the years, I occasionally immerse myself in storylines as wonderfully ludicrous as a growing ooze that eats your brains or a certain high school carrot-top torn between two hotties in Riverdale.
In my early 20s, one of my siblings gifted me with a bottle of bubble juice for Christmas because they knew how much I like them. I remember making them last for as long as I could by using them only occasionally. I’m not exactly sure why I did it that way because by then I was a grown-ass woman who could easily buy another bottle. It might be the same reason I save the skin of fried chicken for later: to let the good times last for as long as I can.
I’m not saying being an adult completely blows. It doesn’t (at least not all of the time). But I more than welcome every opportunity to revisit the old neighborhood where I’m allowed to leave my grown-up worries at the door and just be a complete kid.
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