The ‘Peter Pan’ Plan

Monday 16 March 2015

After a lovely mother’s day weekend spent at the home where I grew up it’s easy to understand why I find myself thinking back to childhood.

A ‘meme’ popped up in my facebook feed yesterday evening that was pretty fitting for my Sunday night feeling.  It said: “Do you remember the time when we couldn’t wait to grow up? Hmmm… What the hell were we thinking?”

There’s not really much fighting it. I am a grown up. Outwardly at least. I have bills to pay, a job, a house – all the makings of an adult! But I still don’t really feel my age and yes, with hindsight, I’d do anything to freeze my life somewhere in my late teens and stay that way forever.

It made me remember a conversation I had with my mum a significant number of years ago. I can’t have been older than 16 at the time and she was messing about, playfully, and in a fit of (fake) grown up rage I reminded her that she was an adult (bit of role reversal for you there!) She snapped out of her teasing for a couple of minutes to tell me that, while she might be older in years she didn’t feel it inside.

It’s funny that those words have stuck with me all this time – anyone who knows me will tell you how shocking my memory is – but I suppose it was the first time I really thought about what I’d feel like when I grew up myself. Before that I’d always just assumed that when I was headed towards 30 I’d feel more mature!

But, no. Speeding towards the landmark age and I am definitely getting more like my mum – not just because I toss and turn every night, stressing about my ‘to do’ lists – but in that most of the time I still feel like a child. Like my mum, in my head I am still a 16 year old. Like my mum I have a battle raging inside me between a 16 year old who doesn’t want to get out of bed on a Monday morning and an adult who has to get up and go to work.

I am a “grown up” who giggles internally at the word ‘poo’. An adult who still loves Disney films and would happily take you on at the park in a ‘who can swing the highest’ contest. More scarily though, in my head I am a 16 year old. A 16 year old who is married and owns a house. A teenager with a credit card and a full-time job. A child who is now asked when she’ll be having children of her own! (Not sure why being married and living in a house with a spare bedroom makes that question socially acceptable – but that’s a whole other rant…)

It’s a horrible kind of irony spending your teenage years wishing you were an adult. Then becoming an adult and spending adulthood wishing that you were 16 again.

Luckily, aside from getting the bills paid, there’s no immediate pressure to grow up (inside). My other half is just as much Peter Pan as me. Who am I kidding – so is my mum! Still!

So, as long as the people around me can tolerate the 16 year old me making a regular appearance then I have no plans to become a ‘real’ grown up any time soon!