I mourn the fact that I am not Peter Pan every time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realize I am getting older. While ordinary citizens busy themselves with boring daily routines, Father Time and the Grim Reaper are negotiating the course of your life over a cup of tea. If there’s one thing they’ve both agreed on, it’s that you can’t turn the clock back to regain your youth, and it is the harsh reality of that consensus that sometimes leaves me Googling adult footsie pajamas and watching old Cartoon Network shows. Why would I ever want to be a kid again, you ask? Well, I have a few reasons:
1) Children’s clothes are cheaper.
Perhaps this a petty observation but every time I walk into a department store, I notice how incredibly cheap some of the kiddie clothes are compared to adult outfits. Five dollars for a polka-dotted spring dress? A grown-up version of the same piece would cost at least thirty and I would not look nearly as cute.
2) It’s always acceptable to order from the kids menu.
It’s fattening, it’s cheap, and it turns my mouth into a drool fountain. No, I’m not talking about Easy Cheese but something much, much better: the kids menu. When you’re a kid, nutrients are the last thing on your mind, so dinner becomes a matter of whether or not you want a barrel of mac and cheese or a tower of chicken fingers. Not to mention, your metabolism is so fast, weight is not even an issue.
3) You don’t need to worry about finding a “real job.”
I miss the days where the closest thing to a real job was trading different colored wood chips for pretty stones on the playground. There was no such thing as cover letters or resumes, and “interviews” generally consisted of two-second exchanges. (“Can I be your friend?” “Yes.”)
4) You never, ever seem to get tired.
When you’re little, you can run around a racetrack 500 times chasing your best friend and still have the energy to climb to the top of the jungle gym. Nowadays, running around the track 5 times without collapsing can be considered a significant milestone and deserving of some sort of athletic achievement award. For all the trouble we go through to encourage sharing in this society, these little kids seem to have problems sharing their energy with adults.
5) You’re small enough to fit into unusual crawl spaces.
Selfies are cool and all but some of my favorite photos were taken when I was a child trying to fit into crawl spaces that now seem laughably miniscule. (Example: the dryer.) And don’t even get me started on the wonders of indoor Chuck E. Cheese playgrounds.
6) Candy is an acceptable meal choice.
Candy may not have been acceptable by your parents’ standards, but it was definitely okay by you. When you’re young, your taste-buds seem permanently tuned to “sugary sweets,” making sour straws and Airheads appropriate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or any time in between. And when there are candy-heavy holidays every couple of months (Halloween, Christmas, Easter), it practically becomes part of your daily lifestyle.
7) You never get bored.
If screenwriters asked children to write movies, there would be so many box office hits, the Hollywood sign would eventually be reconstructed out of piles of cash. I say this because children have an imagination that is seemingly limitless. When you’re a kid, a snow-fort can become an ice castle and a box, a spaceship. You didn’t need a Netflix subscription or even another human being to stay entertained. All you need is your own mind, and that is one of the most endearing truths I have ever known.
8) You can get away with anything if you are cute enough.
The innocent smile and puppy dog eyes that could once get you out of trouble will not protect you from parents or angry professors nowadays, though in some cases, the right amount of charm can save you a speeding ticket or two.
9) Snow days are significantly more exciting.
While the first snowfall still manages to bring tears of joy to my eyes, snow days don’t always translate to drinking hot chocolate by the fire while watching cartoons all morning. As an adult, heavy snow just means a lengthier drive to work and an increased likelihood of hearing bitter elevator conversations. (“Third snowstorm in a week! Where’s global warming when you need it?”) Though as a college student, I still have a few more months of carefree snow days, I know that my days as a bitter commuter are in the not-so-distant future.
10) Everything is simpler.
When you are a kid, interacting with other people doesn’t feel like a never-ending strategy game. If a girl asked you to be her bathroom buddy, you were instantly friends. If a boy pulled your hair, he liked you. If you were happy, you laughed. If you were sad, you cried. And the world kept spinning.
Being an adult certainly has its perks but nothing beats being a kid with no responsibilities, no worries, and no clunky body that prevents you from sitting in a stroller all day long. Would you want to be a kid forever? Why or why not?
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