Childhood Memories Friday: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

Fisher Price Little People

Childhood Memories Friday

As a child, I loved playing with Fisher Price Little People. If you’ve been here any amount of time, you know that my sister and I created a large village for our “kids,” and we spent hours creating various scenarios for them.

When I was around sixth grade, I remember realizing that soon it was not going to be “okay” for me to play with my kids anymore. This stressed me out, because I knew I was still going to want to play with them. I was actually quite sure that I would still want to play with them when I was an adult, yet I knew this would be totally unacceptable. WHAT WOULD I DO?

I recently finished reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl,” and it was refreshing to know that I wasn’t the only one reluctant to grow up. Here’s a passage where Laura expresses some of what I did:

“We were playing particularly hard at recess and noon. The snow was deeper and softer than usual and we chose sides and had snow-ball fights that were gorgeous.

“Mary objected to my playing such rough games out doors with the boys, but she could not keep me in and once when she took both hands full of my loose, long hair and tried to hold me I stiffened my neck and dragged her to the door where she caught some of the snowballs herself before she let me go. Then she told Ma about it and Ma said I was to large a girl to play that way any more. I would soon be thirteen and must be more of a lady. After that I stayed with the big girls and the very little ones in the house. The other girls of my crowd would not go because I didn’t and soon the boys  had all the outdoor fun to themselves except on the way to and from school.”

***

When did I actually stop playing with my “kids?” I don’t remember. It must have been sometime during junior high, since I don’t recall playing with them while I was in high school. I have to admit that I don’t have any desire to play with them these days (although I still enjoy looking at them). I really don’t enjoy playing children’s games at all — whether with my own children or others, I have never enjoyed sitting on the floor and “playing” with little kids. It just doesn’t excite me. I suppose the magic has passed, or, in “Polar Express” lingo, I can no longer hear the bell ring.

I do envy all the children out there, enjoying their play. In childhood, our days seem so long, the years interminable. Looking back, they were so brief. I think my own children’s childhoods passed by even faster.

I don’t wanna grow up: do you remember wishing that, or were you in a hurry to be older?

6 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

  1. I was almost always in a hurry to be “older” – I don’t know why, since I was the oldest of six already. I did think that was one of the perks of motherhood, though: being able to sit on the floor and play and not have anyone think twice about it. 🙂 But only with my own kids – I was never very fond of nursery duty or children’s church or that kind of thing. I also enjoyed coloring books well into adulthood and had my own box of crayons after I was married and before I had kids. 🙂 Coloring was very relaxing. But I haven’t done that in a long while, either. I don’t remember my mom telling me I was too old to play in certain ways (I tended to like to stay with the adults, and she had to tell me to go out and play with the kids), but I do remember her telling me I was too old to act upset when I didn’t get something I wanted or couldn’t have my way. I hated being accused of pouting when I was just upset.

  2. Barbara, several things you said sparked a thought — you know that coloring is becoming a “hot” thing for adults now. Maybe you could try it again. And me too: as a child, I often felt more comfortable around adults. Now, as an adult, I often gravitate to kids. Maybe I’m just odd 🙂

  3. I have always loved coloring and would take every opportunity to color. I started babysitting at age 11 and colored with the kids I took care of. That took me through high school with no questions! I couldn’t wait until my two little girls were old enough so I could color with them. Then my first grandchild was a little girl who liked to color! The second grandchild was also a girl who met me at the door with crayons and coloring book in her hands!

    The next three grandkids were boys who didn’t want anything to do with coloring. I was not happy but found other ways to color. After an operation, I hired a cleaning lady who brought her little girl with her. So I colored with her daughter while she cleaned my house!

    I was delighted to learn that there are adult coloring books now available. Last week I downloaded an App called COLORFY from Amazon onto my Kindle Fire and have been in heaven. I am having so much fun.

  4. I always enjoy reading about your thoughts here. I don’t recall wishing I could grow up more quickly, nor wishing I wouldn’t grow up as quickly as I was. On occasion, I think I did wish I could do some grown-up things I was still too young to do.

  5. Since I grew up as an “only child” the first 6 years of my life until my little brother came along, I spent much more time with adults. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older cousins were my role models, so naturally I wanted to be older and more like them. Having a sister close to my age might have been fun, but I never had one. Since I grew up on a farm, I loved to be outdoors with my Dad doing chores, milking cows, feeding the sheep or pigs, etc. That kind of stuff like driving a John Deere tractor at a young age all worked together to make me feel helpful and needed in the adult world. Because my father died less than two months before my 12th birthday, I never was a child after that because I was immediately faced with even more grown up duties. All of these experiences made me stronger for later life events, I believe, but I missed being a child for very long.

    Outdoor activities like snow sledding down the steep barn hill and ice skating in winter, and mowing yard, picking strawberries, and swimming in the farm pond in summer were more natural to me than any inside activities. I had very little use for dolls because they were make-believe and not REAL, but I did enjoy board games and playing cards with the extended family whenever I got the chance. Your chlldhood, Susan, was much more normal than mine, plus you lived in town and I lived 6 miles from the nearest small town. Being an elementary teacher for 34 years helped me to enjoy youthful things!

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from you.