George Bernard Shaw once said “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.”
When I was younger, I would have thought that ridiculous. “George Bernard Shaw is a stupid dummy,” I would have said. “Who cares about dumb Irish playwrights? Plus, his literary criticism was not as great as some have made it out to be.” (In my memory, my younger mind was basically a New York Times Crossword cheat sheet. While this is probably not correct, you don’t have a time machine, so you can’t prove it. HA!)
I would have raved about how great being a kid was but how much better it would be to grow up, start my career at second base for the Kansas City Royals, be the first person to earn $1 billion for playing baseball and be awarded the presidency after my retirement just because I was so awesome. I would have complained about being a kid, about my inability to drive and how the adults all get the big bucks while I’m stuck with a lousy $10 a week allowance.
Clearly it was a rough time.
At some point in my life, I became an adult, at least according to the statutes set forth by the American law. Suddenly I had all of the freedom I had longed for all these years. No longer was I tied to an allowance my parents would so unwillingly dish out every week. Now I was able to pursue everything I had always dreamed of. A surprising thing happened, though.
I did not care for it.
As it turns out, adults do not get paid large amounts of money. They get paid enough money to pay other adults so that they can continue to live in a home and eat. I did not become a second baseman for the Royals most likely due to my lack of athletic prowess or motivation to try to be a great second baseman. Instead, I have to…to… work!
That isn’t what adulthood was supposed to be like. I do not have a sweet convertible or a reasonably sized mansion. I have a town home and 1992 Ford Explorer that may or may not have some sort of vendetta against me.
As if that weren’t enough, I now have become one of those adults who see kids and, like good old George Bernard Shaw, think they are wasting their life.
After a long day at work, I somehow found myself listening to kid whine to his mom today.
“Mom, I’m bored!”
“I have some chores you could do when we get home.”
The kid scoffed and kicked his foot in a petulant manner. “This summer vacation is already the worst EVER!”
Yes, school had been out for a full day and a half and already this child was bored. I, on the other hand, was ready to entertain myself by shouting at a 12-year-old and throwing a world-class temper tantrum.
“What do you mean you’re BORED?!” I would have shouted. “You mean you can’t possibly find anything to do at all?! How about you go to the pool or play baseball?! You can even take a NAP if you wanted to! Do you know how often I get a nap?! My naps only come at 8 o’clock in the evening when I fall asleep while I watch TV! It isn’t even because the show is boring. IT’S BECAUSE I AM TIRED!” At this point, I would have picked up the child and thrown him through a plate glass window hoping to snap him out of it. He would have hopped up uninjured (this is fantasy, not real life after all) and thanked me for the valuable lesson.
George Bernard Shaw was very right. People that go by three names usually are. That’s how they earned the right to use all three names.
Kids, enjoy your summer break. Soon, you will find yourself summer breakless. You’ll long for the days when you could do anything you wanted and your parents provided all of the money you needed.
More importantly, you’ll just want a nap. Adulthood makes you tired.