Expecting Someone Taller

There will be regular as sane as they get around here, posts next week, and a couple of guest posts, but this weekend I’m drowning.  I was already running way behind on both work and house stuff, and then I lost a week to stupid doctor’s tricks.

I can’t write posts when my head is full of to-do lists.

There are stories I want to write for you guys, and will.  But not today.

And all through this, I keep thinking of the way adults managed things when I was little and thinking “I expected to be more grown up by now.”

From what I have managed to ascertain all of us freeze, internally, at some age between 8 and twelve. I don’t mean we stop growing, but in our hearts that’s the age we still think we are.

And when I think of that, the world is much better than we have any right to expect, when it’s run by a bunch of kids pretending to be adults.

And now I go pretend to be adult some more, because I have promises to keep.  And miles to go before I sleep.

46 thoughts on “Expecting Someone Taller

      1. “History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” James Joyce

        Scary is when that seems a reasonable quote to describe events.

    1. Heh, I was actually arguing both ways in my head- because I don’t think I am somewhere between nine and twelve in my head, but then at about 11 I was treated like a small, weak adult who didn’t have much sense. At least by my parents. (And man did that have some bad results for adults who were going “um, tall toddler” for how I should behave.)

    2. That’s what we did with the small&crunchy. If he wanted to attempt something, we let him try. Turns out kids are a LOT more capable of things than our current societal thinking seems to count them as able to do…

      1. That’s what we did, too, thereby upsetting my mom when she visited and my very young and male (this is important because Portuguese) children could make themselves snacks, make their own beds and dress themselves. She tried to guilt me into stopping work to make my 3 year old a sandwich and went off the deep end when I answered with “his arms are not broken.”

  1. Funny, in my heart I think I am the age I am, although I am not at all clear on what that age is “supposed” to be.

    I suspect I ingested over much Carroll as a child and it has left me forever damaged.

    1. My mom has quoted bits and pieces of this poem as she has continually outpaced me in age. Forgot who had written this, so thank you for jogging my memory and giving me a good chuckle.

  2. Oh! Did I mistake the prompt for the day? Ought I drop and give you fifty on “age”?

    Age, I am advised. has a way of creeping up on all of us, although I must allow I have never let mine catch me. There’re a number of tricks one can deploy to avoid its traps, after all, and I like to think I have mastered many of them.

    1. I fear I have missed too much sleep to worry about writing fifty words of fiction. I’ve caught up on the sleep, but it should be a few days of sleeping regular before everything is functioning again. When younger, I was less bothered because I wouldn’t have had it anyway.

  3. I recall the first parent-teacher conference of The Daughter’s second grade year, the one where we were to draw up her IEP. It was held in a conference room in the school library. We sat at a long low table surrounded by kid’s chairs. I was placed at the foot of the table. Looking at the principal, the teacher and various other school personnel assembled around that table I felt that I was my kid me facing the adults once again.

    1. Never had that feeling. Some of it may have been that we knew most of the teachers and remembered when they were kids. The other may have been sheer hard-headedness growing up.

      1. For me he feeling only occurred during the first moments of that initial meeting. I don’t know about other parents. (shrug)

        Four years later when The Spouse and I decided to home educate The Daughter a friend complained because I would no longer be there to confront the system.

  4. My mental image alternates between klutzy and plump 13-year-old and 5’10”, willowy, 24 year-old, with the occasional (usually student-inspired) crotchety 75 year old with a suspiciously large number of books and cats.

    1. *self image at oh-dark-thirty* An old, old man, bent with the burdens of too many years, peering through his mustaches and his ninety-year-long beard, creaking through the day on cussed stubbornness in that low but powerful gear…

      *self image at quitting time* Five years old, and the recess bell just rang.

  5. Meh. I like to think of myself as “Young at Brain,” but not too young. I’m an adult sort of brain. Like, oh, thirty-five to forty-ish. Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway. Now if the body would just feel like that again . . .

  6. Oddly, I don’t feel like I have a mental age. It just . . . is.

    Raising a family, I’m often struck by how together the kids thought we had it when we’re trying to make it up as we go along. When the kids were younger, there came the realization that the adults didn’t have it any more together than we do now, but we just didn’t know it at the time.

  7. It’s said that you never grow up until both your parents are gone. I’m here to witness that even losing both of them doesn’t mean one is ever a full adult. Old outside, maybe, but certain of everything inside – never. Agree totally with TXRed. Still learning. (My mother used to say I was born with a book in one hand and a question in the other. No change so far.) Y’all are fonts of information which I so much enjoy. Only way I can say thank you is to buy books.

  8. The sun set. Will, foot-weary, considered camping in a grove, but he had miles to go to where The Band’s recruiters were rumored to be. He had a promise to keep, if only to himself, made when they laid his mother, his source of solace in his family, to rest.

  9. I find myself to be what I am now, and not an older version of me in Jr. or Sr. High.

    I remember finding a rolling shelf of books in the hallway when I went to my daughter’s first 4th-grade teacher’s conference. They were all “Spinning Wheels”, in some Alice and Jerry Books series, and apparently not changed or updated since I read that book so many years ago. (I checked the one story I remembered. Taught me there’s “a rat” in “separate”.)

  10. I’m in complete agreement. In my own head I still feel like I’m 12 years old, so when my back goes out, or I get sick, I’m always surprised at my body failing me. Doesn’t it know I’m still invincible?

  11. I’m pretty sure I stopped around 16.

    I can tell because I teach middle school, and sometimes have to really work to get myself into that age’s mindset when trying to plan lessons, and need to figure out what they can and can’t do at that age cognitively.

      1. My first mental reaction to meeting Margaret Thatcher: My gosh, she’s smaller than I am!
        My second mental reaction: Now I know what power looks like. (She, for lack of a better term, radiated power, political and otherwise.)

        1. I’ve never been subject to noticing an “aura of power” as some people put it. If I don’t know that a person is supposed to be some sort of “personage”, then they’re no different to me than the mailman.

        2. Wait, WHAT?!

          I’m a runt, sure, but I thought she was big… you know, now that I think on it, I’ve only even seen pictures where she was either at a podium or was next to Reagan, who would have a gut level understanding of optics like that.

  12. I feel ancient because I’m the oldest generation in my family. My parents, aunts and uncles are all deceased.

    1. I have lived long enough myself to have observed that this is bound to happen if you insist on continuing to breath.

    2. I feel slightly younger. I’ve still got one older generation left in my family. The vast majority of the generation older than that was dead by the time I was eight – the “Greatest Generation” in my family seemed to die off early, unfortunately.

    3. It wasn’t the deaths in my grandparents’ generation that made me feel old, even the last. It was the first death in my parents’ generation. (an uncle.)

  13. Judging from the plans I make each day, that part of the brain thinks I’m 25. Unfortunately the body does not cooperate.

  14. For the most part, my mental perception of myself is stuck around 17 (albeit a more mature version of my actual 17-year-old self). Occasionally I’ll bounce back to 10 or 11.

  15. Having been 40 since the age of five, (or so I have been described as) I’ve never been quite sure what my mental age was.
    Having multiple minor ailments as a child, I was both healthier and more energetic in my twenties. It was the prime of life in many ways for me.
    Now, things are just being to degrade, and I’m expecting many of those childhood ailments to return; or something similar.

  16. I’ve always been late twenties to early thirties. My husband is seventeen. Some people just have a fixed mental age (mine is later than most because I like myself better as I get older; teenaged-me was okay, but the mood swings sucked hard.)

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