When do we stop wanting to grow up?
When do we stop wanting to grow up?
Last night I was brushing Erin’s hair after her bath – a quiet calm moment between Mother and daughter where she sat innocently perched between my knees in front of the mirror. She was posing, as she does frequently, pulling funny faces whilst admiring her own reflection. I sat smiling in silence, thinking about how long her hair had suddenly become and questioning how it was that the time has passed so quickly. For Erin, the baby years are gone for sure, with my eldest daughter, my baby, becoming a strong and confident young lady by the day.
She flicked her now long hair behind her ear, and turned to me with that cheeky little smile, asking for the hundredth time this week – ‘Mummy, when am I five?’
Her birthday is not until June, but suddenly, ever since her best friend’s party earlier in the month, she has asked almost me every single day.
In the eyes of a 4 year old, she cannot comprehend the fact that her best friend was born first. That they are both in the same class, yet different ages. The same height but different birth months. That her friend turning five doesn’t automatically mean her own birthday will follow shortly after.
She’s is longing and waiting for her own birthday to come. You could be forgiven for thinking this was all about parties and princesses, but her longing isn’t for presents; she simply wants to be five.
She wants to be taller, bigger, older and wiser. She wants to move to the next class, the next milestone, draw a new line on the height chart in our kitchen, and be the big girl that she already is inside her head. She watches her hair grow and her clothes quickly outgrow and she celebrates every single moment.
When does that stop?
At what point does getting older suddenly lose its appeal?? When do we stop longing to grow up and start thinking WOAH!
Whilst she counts down the days till her birthday, each day I get closer to mine fills me a little bit with dread. She’s desperate to wave goodbye to the fours whilst at 34, I am mentally hiding away from the prospect of my forties!
But why should it be this way?
Yes, I’m getting older, and hell YES I’m looking older, but getting older means I’ve lived, and at the end of the day, living is what we’re all here for! So why do we not still celebrate?
These stretch marks? – My motherhood badge of honour. A memory of the wonderful thing my body achieved in carrying and protecting my babies, not once but twice.
My section scar? The way my second born entered the world, untimely and upside down, leaving a personal health battle that took months to recover from, but we did it. That little smile on my tummy that stares back at me in the mirror is a reminder that my body won, and that we lived to tell the tale.
These wrinkles? – are from happiness. This is as face that has more creases than I would care to mention, but they are the result of a life full of laughter. These wrinkles are from a face that’s smiled often, and has survived the furrowed brow of worry that comes with the territory being a parent.
And the grey hairs?? The hairs I struggle to hide and pluck out at every opportunity? A reminder that I am growing older and that like me, these hairs have been around a pretty long time.
But why should that be a bad thing? Surely growing up is something to celebrate! In 2018 I promised myself to love the life I have, and this includes loving me as I am, even as I crawl that ever bit closer to 35.
So my response to Erin? Growing old is FUN, but don’t wish your life away sweetheart. Being four is WONDERFUL. Dance, sing, learn and play. Run, jump, build and climb. EVERY year brings new adventures, and whether you are four of 34, it’s how you make the most of them that counts.
And as the saying goes – the older you are the better you get. Unless you are a banana.