I am casting about a bit this morning for something to say... I don't want to write about anything heavy today, as I have awesome new boots on (that I am breaking in for a costume so they are nice and soft when I need them), and I'm just... I don't know, feeling rebellious against all the bad things of the world. I don't want to be an adult and talk about them.
I know this feeling is not unique to me; most of my friends have the same feeling of not being the age they are. We still collect silly things, and, of course, we all still play dress-up.
I'm not talking about the kind of childishness that refuses to be responsible when the need arises, just the kind of childishness that point blank refuses to put certain things aside because "you're too old for that kind of thing". Sorry, Jesus, but I never put away my childish things and became a (wo)man.
*pause for bolt of lightning to strike from above*
Okay then. I don't feel my age. I know I am my age - I have little lines all around my eyes, grey hair (I track the condition of my roots), softer skin on my chest, and all the aches and pains that come from a body well-used (my right knee tells me the weather - and when I've been sitting cross-legged too long), but I don't feel it. In public, I can put on a good show - I sit upright, I am polite, and I'm well on-top of my job, but at home I still curl up on the sofa, sit on the floor, dance when my favourite songs come on, and play with toys.
Okay, most of the toys are antiques, but I want my dolls and doll houses, even if the dolls are weird alien babies in tubes, and the doll house is planned to be a Tudor replica, but the most important thing is that I know I'm not alone in my childishness - I think most people feel this way.
In a way, this is the tragedy of the generation gap - teenagers can't conceive that adults are still amused and interested in new toys and fun that comes along, and adults can't understand that when you're young, all you want is to be able to grow up and do whatever you want, like adults do.
When you're young, being older is the most important thing of all - I used to lie about my age (26 seemed like a very grown-up, glamourous age when I was 15) all the time. Adults think of teenagehood as being free of all responsibility, but actually, it's a time of endless requirements - do well in school, do chores, get a job, clean your room, share with your siblings, set the table, wash the dishes, walk the dog, clean up after the cat - and that's only what your parents require of you. Your school is pushing college ideas at you, and wanting you to join this club or that club, because extra-curricular activities look good on your application. Your friends demand things from you, and peer pressure is a powerful thing at that age. Add in the sexual component, especially for girls, and teenagehood isn't looking like such a hot deal, after all. No wonder they're in such a hurry to grow up - you can't be free to really be a child until you're an adult.
Even young adults can't really take the time, nor do they have the self-confidence to let their inner child free to roam about and enjoy things. But once you get past that time - once the "being an adult" thing is accomplished - the whole world opens up, and possibilities for play are everywhere. Why else would cruise vacations be so popular? What is camping, but playing house? And who can turn down an afternoon running through the woods playing hide and seek with paintball guns?
I am not worried by my delight in toys and playthings - I am an adult, and free to be a child. Free from the responsibility of being a "success", free from parental expectations, and confident enough to be free of peer pressure. I have 60 acres and a stream, and if I choose to make mud pies, build a bridge, or hunt for turtlles, no-one is going to tell me I should be studying.
Playtime is good, and every adult should schedule it. And then a nap.