I Don't Want to Get Any Older - I Want to Stay Just the Way I Am
Such words of wisdom in the kitchen between Larry and Alanna yesterday.
"I don't want to get any older Yiyi, I don't want to be a mommy, I want to be just the way I am."
Funny that a four year old should be thinking of such heavy matter during the Christmas Season.
I sat for a few moments, going back decades, digging deep in the vault of my childhood memories, remembering what it was like to be four.
I am watching our black and white TV, and I flash between visions of the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz and the bogeymen from the March of the Wooden Soldiers.
I am looking out the window into the dark inky sky of Christmas eve, believing that if I concentrated hard enough, I could make Santa and his reindeer appear flying between the twinkling stars. (ps I used that concentration when I fished all those years ago with #1 - to get the fish to come to MY lure....)
I am lying in bed trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. I feel like I am on speed, but what does a child know of that...but you can't sleep and your head runs movies over and over in anticipation of what is going to happen. Then the morning...the smell of the fake tree (which was heavenly), the magic of the lights and the tinsel, and the gifts in all their beautiful paper.
I remembered the joy of opening my Etch-A-Sketch, the new box of crayons whose waxy aroma were intoxicating (I still sniff my art supplies to this day, especially crayons and colored pencils) the joy of the new coloring books. I remember the envy of my brother who was a year younger getting Tinkertoys.
I remember the horror of being discovered by my parents after crawling out of my crib and torturing my little brother in the crib next to me.
As I got older, the magic faded. I was expected to do more than play. There were chores. As I became more independent and grew into my predestined stubborness and became as fiery as my hair, the punishments came harder and more painful.
Then there was discovering that things and people you love get sick and die. And not all people are not nice, and life isn't fair or all games and play.
Yes, Alanna, you are right about not wanting to get any older. In your ancient spirit wisdom you know what is down the pike, and you don't want to leave your world of imagination, play, discovery, and joy behind you for what is to come.
The trick is my dear little one, to keep magic in your heart forever, and nurture creativity. For if you look at everything as a little miracle, and embrace the pain as a path to growth, and live your life with the joy and discovery that you sport, you will survive.
Photo of Alanna by Larry over the vacation......