Roller Skates in the Kitchen (aka: The Late Bloomer)

old-fashioned roller skatesMy daughter is trying out her new roller skates in the kitchen. “You know Mom,” she says as she whizzes past me, “most moms don’t let their kids roller skate in the house.”

“They don’t?” I say, frowning. “Why on earth not?” For a brief moment, I feel a tug of concern. Maybe there is some good reason why other moms wouldn’t be okay with their teen roller skating in the house. But geez…if I had just gotten new skates for Christmas, then I would be skating in the kitchen, too!

It happens all the time. One of my teens will look my way with raised eyebrows and point out how “Other kids’ moms don’t watch Vampire Diaries.” “Other kids’ moms don’t do cartwheels at the park.” “Other kids’ moms don’t play video games/let their kids eat cookies for breakfast/play Nerf ball catch with their teenage sons.” My kids don’t mind, though. They rather like having a mom who’s like a teenager. A very mature, sophisticated, and responsible teenager, I must add.

I have always been a late bloomer. I played with dolls until I was fourteen.  I didn’t learn to drive until I was twenty-six years old. Although I had several so-called high school “boyfriends,” I went on my first real, actual date when I met my now ex-husband, during my third year of university.

Leo the late Bloomer childrens book

I’m not sure why I progress through life at such a slow pace, clinging to youthful interests. Maybe it is arrested development, due to fear of the unknown world of grownups. Maybe it is a genetic tendency — some biological indicator of slow aging. Or maybe it’s just that being young at heart makes life so much fun.

Aldous Huxley Secret of Genius quote

When I allow my inner child to roam free, I feel more content, at ease, and connected with life. If growing up means sitting in the sand and staring at the sea, then I would rather join the kids, shrieking and splashing as we jump and surf in the waves. If I must join the throngs of grownups in the dull, grey world, then I will be the one wearing a rainbow-colored dress, covertly throwing paper airplanes into the crowd.
I know, I sound like a female Peter Pan. And in a way, I suppose I am. I will never be like the “other kids’ moms” if that means I must leave behind that magical world of youthful fantasy. Why must I, when life is so much richer, and so much more adventurous when I balance with one foot in the grown-up world and one foot in Neverland?

I am a late bloomer. That is who I am. My kids are late bloomers too, I think, and that’s okay by me. Know why? Because the rose that blooms early also wilts early. And I have no intention of wilting anytime soon.

Never Grow Up Not Me


10 responses to “Roller Skates in the Kitchen (aka: The Late Bloomer)

  1. I love this post – I think there’s something wonderful about maintaining the enthusiasm and curiosity about the world and even innocence that come so naturally as a child, yet so many people stifle in adulthood. It seems to me that the openness of childhood and the accompanying qualities are some of the finest in life.

    I recently stumbled upon a pair of Heelys at a discount store and I bought them, and I was surprised at how much criticism I’ve endured. I wore them to a restaurant and got strong disapproval. It seems like such a silly little thing for responsible adults to get upset about – don’t they have bigger fish to fry? Sigh.

    • Heelys! 😀 Something I always wanted to try, but still haven’t. I say that there is no wrong time in one’s life to skate around, skip, crunch the autumn leaves, build a sandcastle, or many of those wonderful, simple activities we often (mistakenly) associate with childhood. Who says? In some ways, I would prefer to remain like a child.

  2. Even though it’s difficult to escape the realities of adulthood, I think it’s better to mix them with some carefree childhood than be fully adult all the time. 🙂

    You may be familiar with this one, but, if not, you might like it:

    “As If to Demonstrate an Eclipse,” by Billy Collins from Nine Horses (Random House).

    As If to Demonstrate an Eclipse

    I pick an orange from a wicker basket
    and place it on the table
    to represent the sun.
    Then down at the other end
    a blue and white marble
    becomes the earth
    and nearby I lay the little moon of an aspirin.

    I get a glass from a cabinet,
    open a bottle of wine,
    then I sit in a ladder-back chair,
    a benevolent god presiding
    over a miniature creation myth,

    and I begin to sing
    a homemade canticle of thanks
    for this perfect little arrangement,
    for not making the earth too hot or cold
    not making it spin too fast or slow

    so that the grove of orange trees
    and the owl become possible,
    not to mention the rolling wave,
    the play of clouds, geese in flight,
    and the Z of lightning on a dark lake.

    Then I fill my glass again
    and give thanks for the trout,
    the oak, and the yellow feather,

    singing the room full of shadows,
    as sun and earth and moon
    circle one another in their impeccable orbits
    and I get more and more cockeyed with gratitude.

    • Thanks, I really enjoyed that poem. It made me laugh, envisioning this person seeing himself as so godlike, creating a galaxy, and then arrogantly giving thanks to himself for its perfection. One must admire the sincerity of his gratitude while laughing at his conceit for also being on the receiving end.

  3. Amazing post. I hate the term “grown up” because when does one have to stop liking certain things? When does one become as strict as other parents or have opposing interests to their kids? It’s good to be different and your children will thank you for it if they have not yet…

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