Monday, December 23, 2013

Why Did You Grow Up On Me?

Girls mature faster than boys. So they say.

Now, as a parent and father of a girl, and having been a boy once and all that jazz, I might say girls don't mature faster than boys.  They just learn to play more complicated childish games sooner.  Some say it could be maturity, one could also argue it is a mark of insecurity.  Whatever it is, God designed us different for a reason and I know the descriptors I've used here are going to be judged as good or bad, but insecurity and maturity both carry their own benefits and costs and are a part of any human makeup.

When I was a boy, I remember the girls suddenly seeming to race ahead on everything in school and fashion and everything intellectual.  The childhood romances were suddenly left behind as I was suddenly no longer 'mature enough' for my childhood sweetheart.

I was left behind.

Left alone.

Not cool enough.

Not big enough.

Not smart enough.

Not mature enough.

Not old enough

Not....anything enough.

I wasn't enough.....

even sunny days felt rainy
And there was nothing I could do about it. To stop it, to stop you from changing, or change me fast enough to keep up.

Suddenly the games we enjoyed playing, I found myself alone without my friend.  The games weren't 'mature' anymore.  The games were fun still to me, but not as much fun without my childhood sweetheart.  I found myself wondering a lot of things that I didn't have answers for and only now am discovering.

There was always this hope in childhood that things could stay the same forever.

But they didn't.  I don't know that they couldn't. 

Why did you have to grow up on me???   Everything was just fine!  And now what?  I'm not good enough?  The games we used to love, you're too big for?  It's me!  Remember?  I was your friend.....and're leaving.

I guess I'll be here still playing....and waiting....hoping you come back....

And as time passes and as time never came back.   It was just me.   Alone.

Because I wasn't enough.

What was wrong with what we had?  Why the rush to grow up?  What was wrong with eating candy and watching cartoons?  What was wrong with board games on rainy days?  What was wrong with swinging under cloudy sunny skies?  When did riding bikes in the summer time and lemonade stands become uncool?  Slumber parties under starry skies? 

You left me....I would give anything to live a life like that again.  I now know it was one of the best times of my life.  But you left me.

I watched you grow older as we grew up together apart now.  Our eyes met in the hallways over the years of high school.  We passed by each other and awkward stuttered greetings of missed familiarity hung in the air even years later.  I wasn't 'cool enough' to talk to your friends.  You moved on and up and ahead.  The guys you went after were older, had cars and all the things guys were and are that I didn't have and couldn't get.

I never caught up ever again.

But looking back now, I think I might have still gotten butterflies if I got to do it all over again.

I suppose I was lucky I got to catch your eye for a time. Some might say because we weren't yet twelve, it wasn't real and didn't matter, but I know differently.  And I haven't forgotten.

I just wish you didn't have to grow up....

I got the car, joined the service, wore a tie, did all those grown-up things, but I still haven't caught up even decades later.

But I still remember you when I play marbles with my children.  When I ride bikes with them.  When we watch cartoons together.  When we eat "see-food" at the lunch table.  When we sleep under the stars.  When I tell the jokes we used to tell at seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve....

And sadly.....I think they are going to grow up on me too.....and I'll be alone again....

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