I’m a sleeper. Always have been and always will be.
It was a major wake-up call (both literally and figuratively) when I got married and had children. I was introduced to people who have an innate desire to wake up early, without the influence of hunger pangs or a buzzing alarm clock. I compare my children’s (and subsequently my) napping phase to an ex-boyfriend who I didn’t want to let go of… but who left me anyway.
I so desperately want napping back.
With three kids of my own who desire little more than to grow up, I developed a short list of things they need to embrace now while they are young and naive.
1. Endless opportunities to chill out – It seems that, with every year I’ve added to my age, a corresponding activity gets added to my personal calendar. You wouldn’t think you’d need to schedule downtime, that finding time to relax would just naturally happen. But, these days, my husband and I plan our “me time” outings as evenly as possible. He gets a fantasy football league get-together with the guys, and then I get a movie marathon excursion with the ladies. It’s only fair.
2. Shameless bathroom breaks – When you are a kid, you could care less about who’s in the stall next to you. You have a job to get done. You don’t hold back the grunting or hide your feet in embarrassment. As an adult, I’ve been known to stake out empty bathrooms when I need to take care of business in public places.
3. No mandatory oil changes – As a preteen, I couldn’t wait to drive. I had no concept of the necessity to actually take care of the car once it was mine. Now that I’m an uncompensated taxi service, I’ve found that driving (and all the maintenance associated with it) really isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
4. No calorie counting – What I would give to be able to scarf down a foot-long sub sandwich with all the fixings and chocolate malt with zero remorse.
5. Complete obliviousness – I recall the days before the Internet, when the only thing holding me back from winning Star Search was the excessive cost of the plane ticket needed for me to be discovered. Had I remained offline, I would have never discovered YouTube or the fact that there are literally millions of people out there who are way more talented than I am.
6. Non-judgmental meltdowns – Kids experience them all the time when they’ve reached their limits. Aren’t there times in all of our adult lives when we want to collapse and flop around on the floor writhing and whining? Or have someone physically carry us to wherever we need to go? How do you think it would go over if I did that the next time I was expected to attend a budget planning meeting?
Kids, I understand your frustration with having to follow other people’s rules. Curfews stink and school isn’t always fun. But, just you wait… someday you too will reminisce about days gone by.
Cherish childhood. Some of us have a harder time than others with this whole “growing up” thing.
Heidi Woodard is married with three children. Read her Thursdays on momaha.com
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