I Grew Up?

We got a mailer this week for our college's annual reunion weekend. (Doug and I met at college so luckily we only get mail and annual giving phone calls from one school.) We get these mailers all the time. But this year, it's our 10th reunion.

10 years since I graduated from college. How on earth did that happen?

I don't feel like I can possibly be that old. Most days, I have a hard time even feeling like a grownup. I know I'm not the same kid that cried for the entire drive to college (ask my dad- it's one of his favorite stories to tell!). I know that I've grown and I've changed. But, 10 years? Wow.

Breaking it down, I guess it really has been a while. I've gotten married, had two big moves, and had a baby. I started my masters degree in one state, took a break when we moved, and then finished it four months after giving birth. I've had the same job for (gasp!) over seven years.

I have a mortgage, a hundred tiny projects to finish around the house, a toddler who requires constant chasing and attention. I have no problem going to bed at 9:00 on a Friday night. Apparently, somewhere along the line, I grew up.

While I don't feel that old, I guess I'm okay with it. I've done a lot and have a lot more to look forward to. Phee keeps me on my toes, simultaneously exhausting me and plunging me into profound awe. Want to keep feeling like a kid? Keep a close eye on your own kids and look at the world through their eyes. Everything is new and interesting and fun. And so often, these tiny people are able to see from a different angle and turn your conventions on their head.

A fresh perspective. That's what will keep you energized. The constant changes that come with children and a family are enough to wear anyone out, even the most seasoned problem-solver. But the newness and excitement that children experience every day gives you an opportunity to keep your mind open to new ideas, new outlooks, new plans.

Kids let you constantly evolve and reinvent yourself. Remember how you felt in college with all that time stretching out in front of you? You could study whatever you wanted and change your mind ten times before settling on a major if it suited you. That's how kids feel every day as they explore their little worlds, pushing boundaries, poking the wishes we hold for them and making everything their own.

So yes, I've grown up. And no, I don't feel like it. I don't intend to. I like the fresh outlook that Phee unceasingly offers me. I want to share that with her and be the adult that shows her that she, too, can continue to reinvent herself, no matter where she is in life.

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