Forever 22

So I wrote this post about feeling old…

I’m only 34. I know that isn’t old. My point was, when will I EVER feel like my age? I still consider myself “just out of high school” and am shocked nearly every time I realize just how long I’ve been just out of high school.

Annalise recently attended a birthday party/tea party for her dear friend. It was her first “drop off” party…the kind where parents don’t stay. On the way, she asked if I was going to come in. “Because you don’t need to, Mom. I’m just fine going in, you know.”

After the party, she – with as much of a mature voice and cool-as-a-cucumber attitude as she could muster – was telling me all about the party. They got their hair done, nails done, and did fancy tea-party things. I listened to her relay all the details that she was clearly so excited about with as little visible emotion as possible. I assume because she wanted to appear as grown-up as she could.

And apparently us grown-ups aren’t too excitable.

Details now all shared, we sat quiet while heading to our next destination. Suddenly, she breaks the silence, “Mommy? I mean, Mom? Am I an adult yet? Because after going to Abbi’s party and with my nails done like this, I feel like an adult.”

I refrained from reminding her of an earlier fit over a My Little Pony or her stomping episode over having to share, neither of which seemed very grown-upish. Instead I decided to not crush her spirits and gently told her that no, she wasn’t yet an adult.  Her response: “But I probably will be soon, right? Because it sure feels like I already am.”

Today, I had an epiphany: All through childhood, we think we’re older, we feel older, and CAN’T WAIT to be older. Then we get past the early 20s and we think we’re younger, feel younger, and sometimes WISH WE WERE younger. It’s like our whole life, from 5 to 85, we think we’re 22.

Apparently, 22 is where it’s at. Although, I seriously hope not.

I Googled 22-year-old celebrities and found lists of them. Know how many names I knew? NONE. I’m too old to know 22. But as a friend pointed out in her FB post, I’m also too immature for wrinkles and grey hair.

And therein lies the irony of my life… I’m too old, but yet too immature.

Update: My friend Polly read this and said it even better: “I’m too old to be immature and yet too immature to be old.” Perfect. Who’s with us?

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