The Wife is celebrating her birthday today.  She’s another year older much as I will be in four short months.  Both of us are beyond the point where we can explain away our age by having “just turned 30” as that excuse is now a few years into our rearview mirrors.  We are in the process of buying a new home (and going through the associated mortgage approval process and all the fun stuff that comes with it), and we’re expecting another new addition to our family next spring.  Basically we’re all grown up at this point and find ourselves dealing with the fun that comes with being an adult.

Please don’t read this as my not being appreciative of my situation because I am.  I’ve got a great life.  The thing is, as a child I recall looking at my parents and other grown-ups around me with envy.  They didn’t have anyone telling them what to do, didn’t have homework, had access to money and cars, they could drink and stay up late, and basically did whatever they wanted in my eyes.  Growing up was something to look forward to as it promised an opportunity to spread my wings and call my own shots.  Boy was I wrong…

What they don’t tell you when you’re young is about all of the extras.  No one mentions taxes or the fact that the presumed access to money implies there is an exchange of goods or services to supply it, that as children you don’t fully comprehend.  This got me thinking about other things about adulthood that I feel I was mis-lead about from my youth.  Tell me if I’m wrong here about any of the following…    

  • Not once has hot lava factored into my logistics planning.
  • I’ve never encountered a ghost or super-natural being.
  • It turns out I missed very little while napping.  I always thought I was missing out by having to lay down in the middle of the day or go to bed early.  I regret that I don’t have more naps built into my schedule now.
  • You can’t just go get new cars/houses/bicycles whenever you want (at least the members of my socioeconomic class cannot).
  • My super hero powers still have yet to develop.
  • I’ve never had to solve a crime.
  • None of the Chicago professional sports teams ever “discovered” my talents.
  • Soreness is a real thing.
  • I own zero robots.
  • Lasers play a surprisingly small role in my life.
  • My sixth grade girlfriend and I apparently are not going to be together forever.
  • Being able to play a musical instrument never “just came to me.”
  • Sledding, wrestling, and eating massive quantities of candy have all gotten less fun.
  • My baseball card collection has not accumulated value at the rate I had anticipated.
  • I consume less fast food as I get older (and I hardly ever order a Happy Meal).

Those are just a few of the truths I’ve come to realize as the years have accumulated.  I’m sure there are more but things like interest rates and credit scores are taking up my personal RAM these days more so than the nostalgia of yesteryear.  Take a lesson from Uncle Chi-Guy kids: stay young and embrace you childhood as your imagination will eventually go through a thing called puberty, and it will morph into this ugly entity that is named ”reality.”  Dream big and enjoy the ride while you can.