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Forget ‘13 Going on 30’; it’s 19 going on 6

April 23rd, 2009

Do you remember when, as a kid, you couldn’t wait to grow up?

I do. I remember, as a little kid, I couldn’t wait to be a “grown-up.” I was just biding my time before I could go to high school and college, and then be an adult with a job and my own house. I would be able to do what I wanted when I wanted. I would have an immense amount of free time with no one bossing me around.

If you were anything like me as a kid, your mom probably responded to this anticipation with something like, “Just wait until you’re older, and you’ll wish you were a kid again.”

Well, my mom did at least.

Of course, I scoffed at her warning. I thought the idea was absurd. It turns out, however, that like everything else in life, she was right.

I have found that as I have gotten older, I do have more freedom to do what I want. However, in addition to this freedom, I also have many more responsibilities, duties and deadlines that take up much of my time.

So as summer rapidly approaches, I look forward to my annual summer job as a camp counselor. It is my chance every summer to become a kid again. I spend the summer playing red rover, freeze tag and duck-duck-goose. I get to go to the zoo, swim, paint and read stories. I get a chance to do all of the things I loved to do when I was a little kid (not to mention I also get paid to do it, which definitely doesn’t hurt).

I love my summer job because while I love growing up and moving into adulthood, it’s nice to be able to remember what it was like to be a kid. It was a period where your life revolved around slumber parties, Saturday morning cartoons, Disney movies and learning addition.

Time flies and before any of us knows it, we will be done with school and thrown into the real world, where our career responsibilities, and eventually family responsibilities and any other activities we take on, will demand much of our time.

It is with this in mind that I will take full advantage of the benefits of my job this summer. I will play tag with 5 and 6-year-olds and make glittery crafts. This summer I will enjoy the carefree nature of kids, whose biggest problem is that Tommy won’t share his cookies during lunchtime.

Remembering what childhood is like helps to put things into perspective and reminds us what is really important. To remember what it was like when we had few worries and responsibilities is good to do once in a while.

During summer, when our responsibilities lessen and the chaos of school subsides, we should all find a way to bring out the “inner child” in each of us. Well, that is, at least until our hectic schedule of fall semester begins.