Keyword Article for PlazaFountains.com: October 2008
The truth hurts. I found this out first hand this week. After four hours chasing three eight-year olds through the City
Museum, I realized that I’m not a kid anymore. Even though I kept up and climbed through the tunnels, slid down countless slides, and navigated through mazes, the truth is that I was exhausted, cynical, and feeling like the elder I never wanted to be.
So, I began to wonder if age downplays the simple joys of life. It is perfectly normal to change priorities and expectations, but does our sense of adventure have to die down as we get closer to the grave?
This beautiful museum decorated with fairy statues, wall art, and handmade climbing apparatuses that put me in awe as a child, only left me feeling old, worn out, and crabby. Did I appreciate the beauty of each fairy statue? No. I was too worried about my left knee giving out and planning a trip later in the day to the chiropractor. Did I look forward to the 10-story winding slides? No. I kept wondering if my bottom would recover quickly when I finally landed on a secure structure.
What is it in society that conditions us to dread the kid-like adventures that we used to live for? Is it the constant news reports of disease, ailments, and obesity that have made us too cautious? Is it the cynical view of childhood wonderlands, fairy statues, and magic wands that have forced us to grow up too fast and furious?
In a health conscious world, our attempts to regain youth are too far and few between and I’m beginning to understand why. There is a constant force to age us. For instance, in an attempt to increase my energy and enjoy an activity with my kids, we powered up the Wii console the day after the field trip that left me in grueling emotional and physical pain. One step on the Wii fitness scale and a short balance test later resulted that physically, I’m 15 years older than the age on my birth certificate. This reality check was a confirmation that maybe I can’t be a kid anymore. The days of visiting my grandparent’s garden fairy statues and pretending to be a part of the magic are long gone. The innocent youthful hopes are slowly crushed and put to rest.
How in the world can we, as a society, feel young again when every attempt to be a kid is crushed or discouraged? Our fairy statues are simply grown up statues with “expected” norms and protocols to follow. Family responsibilities, bills, jobs, money woes, and “normal” adult activities await us, leading us to middle age and worse yet.
Even though I may tire easily and age unnecessarily according to Wii Fit’s criteria, if getting old means I have to follow the straight and narrow, cautious trail of those that are leading the race to the grave, then count me out. I want to be a kid again.
Plaza Fountains is an independently owned commercial fountain consulting firm and distributor of residential and commercial garden fountains.
– Shannon Philpott