While cleaning out our storage closet the other day, I stumbled on some old home video tapes. My parents were glued to a video camera from 1987 to 1998 so we have quite a bit of footage. I have three sisters and one brother, and two of my sisters were born within the ten year period my parents were recording-crazy, so there was always something to capture on film.
I actually stopped cleaning the closet so that I could look at some of the videos. Going through them, I realized two things: that my parents recorded a lot of boring stuff (my little sister eating Jello for an hour? Really?) and that some days I really miss being a kid.
Think about it.
Most of us wouldn’t want to go back to, say, high school or even school in general. But remember in elementary school when you had a set bedtime, and you ate dinner at the table every night with the family, and you had every single summer of your life off from school?
I remember being a generally happy child. I had arguments with my parents just like anyone else, but for the most part I look back on it with fondness. I didn’t have to worry about who was going to make dinner every night because my parents took care of it. No bills, no working every day for the rest of my life, essentially no responsibility. If my green shirt was dirty, I put it into the hamper and it was clean and folded on my bed the next day. My biggest worry was math and how I was going to pass it.
In the summers my parents still had to work but my siblings and I were off school. In fourth grade, we moved houses, and my parents joined the local pool. We used to go almost every day, and again, we didn’t have to worry about meals or money. My mom would pack lunch every day, and if we wanted a snack sometimes she would give us some quarters and let us buy something at the snack bar. Now, I work in the summer just like my parents. My fiancé and I don’t belong to a pool, because the community pool won’t allow renters to join — only homeowners.
But if I had an opportunity to go back, I probably wouldn’t take it. Being an adult is just too awesome, even with work and bills and world issues. I can go to bed whenever I want, I can have cookies and cheese balls for breakfast if I want, I have my own money and can spend it on whatever I want (for the most part). My friends can come over at any time, I get to have sex and drink alcohol legally, I can make my own decisions about my life.
Best of all, I can experience childhood again without having to go back to my own. I can have a child and give them the best parts of my childhood, so that they can one day look back on their childhood and say, “Hey, I didn’t have it so bad.”
Emily Little (nee Campbell) was a perpetually single girl who recently met and married her Mr. Right. Her blog, Dating Emily, has been a two-year diary of her adventures in relationships. Her life of bar-hopping and casual dating has turned into one of dog-walking, craft-making and budgeting for eventual home ownership. But just because she can make a mean casserole doesn’t mean her adventures are over. As she prepares to become a first-time homeowner and eventually, a mom, she is discovering that the adventure may just be beginning.