The prospect of growing older scares me. I’ve got a wedding invitation atop my dresser that is awaiting an RSVP. My friends are getting married. All around me, there are engagement rings, smiling faces, and wedding bells.
And all I want, deep down, is to be a kid. There’s simplicity in childhood, particularly in love. As children, we love boundlessly, and sure, we make mistakes, but we get right back up again and keep on trying. As adults, we withhold and hide our love. We shy away from our mistakes, and we are paralyzed by the fear that we’ll get hurt, even when our chances are good. It’s refreshing to see love reappear, but it’s also scary. It somehow signifies that we’re next, that as soon as our friends are engaged or married, our hands will have rings, too. It doesn’t matter if we have boyfriends or not, but the prospect of marriage looms. In some ways, it’s now or never, lest we are 30 years of age and unwed. Heaven forbid. See? It could be great to be a kid again!
However, kids these days are growing up in uncertain times. One of my deepest fears is that I’ll be an awful parent. I worry that my kids will do things I never dreamed of doing, and I’ll be powerless to stop them. But part of being a parent is letting your kids make their own mistakes and letting them learn their own lessons. I’m just starting to realize that, and perhaps, that is the first step that I’m taking toward accepting that I’m growing older, after all.