Friday, February 28, 2014

Ignorance IS Bliss

My twins have no idea. My oldest is just finding out. I realize more with every passing year.

Being a kid is spectacular.

There's a lot to like about adulthood. I get to set my own bedtime and decide what I want for dinner. No one tells me what to watch or how long I should watch it. I can drive, meaning I can go to the store for a trinket whenever I want. I don't have to ask anyone. I don't have to stand in line at the grocery store and beg for gum: if I want gum, I buy it. It's nice.

But being a kid? Oh my gosh. I had no idea what an electric bill looked like until I was nearly grown. Even now, I can look back on some of the dinners my mother made very early on in my life, and realize she made that dinner because she didn't have a lot of money. But I didn't know that then. I just knew we were having hamburger meat with white bread and gravy and if I ate most of it I'd be up from the table and free to go continue my responsibility-lite existence. Of course I didn't realize what it was, then.

I didn't realize I was sleeping until I naturally woke up - I just woke up. I didn't realize I was sitting in a bath playing with toys while someone else took on the mechanics of actually cleaning me. I didn't get my own snacks, lunches, or dinners. I didn't have or need any money.

Mostly I didn't realize that the things I did, the games I played, the friends I had, the family I loved.... I didn't realize those things were finite, that they could stop being life and start being memories. I woke up, every day, to a continuation of the day before and a promise of the day to come. It was all the same. It was all glorious and free.

I don't want to go back. I like going to bed when I feel like it (even though I have yet to obtain the self discipline necessary to go to sleep when I should). I like the fact that when I rise from this chair, I'll pour another glass of sparkling wine and fill a bowl with as much or as little curry as I want. I like that I can spend the night with my husband.

But man. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have been quite as impatient to gain those freedoms. I would have spent one more minute on my grandmother's porch, scratching my mosquito bites, drinking in the warm summer air, before I got bored and got up to find something more interesting to do.

Ignorance really is bliss.

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