Thursday, April 30, 2015

Outgrowing Peter Pan

On the eve of my seventh birthday my mom sat on the edge of my bed wondering if I was excited for a day sure to be spent drunk off stale candy at the local Rocky and Bullwinkle Arcade and Fun Zone. Instead of using aging as some kind of leverage for getting to stay up later or for riding shotgun in carpool, I started crying because I knew "I would never be six again.

I'm sure my mom was hoping as I got older that I would outgrow rubbing my boogers on the legs of her dining room chairs and making homes for my troll dolls in her dryer, but now she had something more unusual to wish for me to outgrow: Peter Pan Syndrome. 

On the eve of my 30th birthday I was busy in the backyard putting sunflowers into vases and approving the height of twinkle lights before 50 people would be over the next day. I stayed up until 11:30 so I could paint a small wooden house we constructed for a new family member who would need me all of the time for as long as I could currently imagine. That week we had been to a funeral for a co-worker. That week a friend who seemed endless took her last breath in a battle against a cancer that wouldn't waver.

If someone had pointed out that it was the last night of my 20s, I probably wouldn't have been stoked, but I knew it was anyways, I just couldn't mourn numbers anymore. 

I don't know exactly what my life is for. I don't know why some people don't get as much time to live theirs as we think they deserve. I don't think wrinkles and grey hair look regal or bold or sexy yet. I don't want Scott to go bald, but I also know that to worry about any of that isn't the point either. I guess there comes a time when you just have to outgrow living your own clich├ęs.


  1. I feel this, too. Sometimes I get scared that growing up means losing child-like enthusiasm for things but I don't think that has to be true. Being a grown up is barbarous business but it doesn't always have to be. At least I hope not :)

  2. Happy Birthday and welcome to the 30's club. I will be exiting this club next year - and I'm nervous but also excited to see where it takes me. I too have always had a bit of peter pan syndrome in me, but I embrace it! I think staying young at heart is MOST important - be responsible and an adult in other areas of life, but keep that kid alive inside! Your child will appreciate it, as will your psyche, just remember to pay the electric bills, the mortgage and take time to be a kid inside at the same time! ox

  3. It looks like you had a good time. I find birthdays hard, too much introspection about where I am, where I've been, where I'm going. But I like you, I don't mourn numbers. Although it will be a little bit sad when my littlest boy isn't six any more. His numbers I shall mourn a tiny bit. CJ xx

  4. i always enjoy coming to your blog and reading the things you write, but sometimes a phrase will float up that i immediately connect with like WHOA. as a child who at age nine wrote a poem panicking about turning ten and all that came with being double digits (yikes!), i understand this peter pan syndrome. to be perfectly honest, i haven't entirely outgrown it and tend to get anxious around birthdays, but "i just couldn't mourn numbers anymore" is a way of looking at aging that i can get behind. thanks for that :)

  5. The part of the boogers is so me! I used to wipe mine on the couch and figured my mom would pick it up with the vacuum cleaner:) Problem solved! I remember being more concerned about turning another year older in my 20s. Now I'm 32, and it feels ok. I guess not that great when I type it out, but I feel more comfortable with myself and value being given the opportunity to grow older. HAPPY BIRTHDAY again, and it looks like you had an awesome birthday party!

  6. The photos are beautiful. Looks like you guys had a great time celebrating! Happy 30th!

    Aging is definitely emotional to some degree, but it's also a blessing. Because that's another year of life you get to spend with those you love. :)

    1. Great BLOG! GREAT REPLY / comment Rach @ This Italian Family! :)

  7. Those spring/summer treats look so yummy!!! Again I think I need to live where you live!!! I'm like 13 hours away from the Ocean and I miss it!!

  8. There's this quote that I like: "Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."

    I'm not sure who said it. Though I am pretty sure that I saw it under a bottle cap. I feel like I struggle with this concept all of the time though. I get that life is fragile, and it's always found some way to remind me. I've asked myself that ever persistent "why" when bad things happen too. I know that I asked when my cousin died at 16. When a friend of our families died in a pretty horrible way. And I really asked when a friend of mine went off to serve the military, such excitement for having a purpose, only to have passed away due to recklessness on a San Diego overpass the same week he got his orders. Those losses are always there when I fret over another year. But no matter how much I try to keep them in mind, I still worry. I think for me it's mainly because I often feel like time is slipping away. No matter how much I do, there is always more to be done. And the older I become the more of that child I once was disappears.

    Thank you for this post. I really needed it today.


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