As I’ve mentioned before I work with kids. It’s basically my life. Most recently I’ve been working in middle schools tutoring and hanging out with 7th and 8th graders in after school programs. Now I remember middle school, honestly I try very hard to block out those 3 years from sheer embarrassment for my awkward phases, but I get flashes of puberty and remember the toughest part is dealing with growing up slower than you want.
The kids I tutor are always talking about how they can’t wait to be in high and get to drive and get some freedom from their parents. Fair feelings to have at that age. I remember having them. It’s expected. But then I get to college and I remember that first year, heck! I remember that first month…and realized just how much my parents did for me. Believe it or not folks, milk doesn’t just show up in the fridge by magic. My dad went to the store and bought it and somehow got it into the fridge without me noticing all those years. Food is expensive and it runs out fast. But we don’t know that until we go to the grocery store the first time on our own and try to figure out what we need to go without this week to stay under $50.
For me, it’s annoying to hear people at my age put down their parents. Parents who support them, give them a hard time to push them to be better and nag them to get back on track when they stray. There are people who aren’t as lucky. There are people who have parents that just don’t care or they don’t have parents at all. Because you see, there are moments where all I can think is “I wish my mom was right next door” or that “I could really use my dad’s help right now”.
I”ve been sick for about two weeks now. It comes in waves. The insane weather changes have messed up my immune system and I have coughing fits for minutes at a time. Now, when I was a kid my parents would hover over me, make me soup, drug me up so that’d I’d get sleepy enough to rest so I could get better. But now…there’s so much to do and I’m fighting to get better every other day just so that I can feel well enough to go to work for a few hours then get back, collapse in bed and try again the next day.
Adults don’t slow down when they get sick. I can’t think of more than 3 times in my life I saw my mom in bed with a real cold. She was constantly going. Which is why I’m probably a workaholic. But I woke up this morning sicker than yesterday thanking God that it’s my day off and in the back of my head yelling for my mother to come in with some cold medicine and some tea. I laughed and thought to myself “how many people secretly call for their parents in their heads?” Lately, I’ve been doing more and more often. And if you do it too, I’m here to confidently tell you that it’s okay. Because real life is scary and hard and honestly just stinks sometimes. Things don’t always go your way and when that happens all we think of is being a kid again because in our innocence whenever something wasn’t going right mom or dad or auntie or grandma or whoever you had was there to fix it. Now it’s just you. Now it’s just me. Talk about heavy.
All in all, I’m thankful to have grown up strong. Even so, (as I take a pause to sneeze) I wouldn’t mind being 5 again right about now. I wouldn’t mind be coddled by my mother, or rocked to sleep by my grandmother or spoiled by my father, or teased by my brother. Because what no one tells you is that growing up isn’t all fun and games. So I want my mommy and that’s okay.
Thanks for reading,
“Growing up is hard, love. Otherwise everyone would do it.” – Kim Harrison