I do this every spring when school is starting to get hectic. I have presentations, papers, research and a million other things going on that I need to be worried about. It is then that I, all of the sudden, decide to become eight years old again.
Those of you who have been lucky enough to be around me for any length of time know I would have preferred to remain eight years old. Don’t ask why I ever decided on eight – as far as I know the year 1993 wasn’t anything special – it wasn’t even a Disney year, either in trip (we went in ’92 and ’94) or movie (we were between Beauty and the Beast and the arrival of The Lion King). But eight has always been my number and at this time of year, I have an adult temper tantrum and revert to childhood comforts.
Take my recent movie choices – I recently purchased Enchanted (i.e. the day it came out on DVD I happened to be at Borders and it was a good price…I couldn’t just walk away…). No, it’s not only that I purchased it and watched it. It’s that I’ve watched it four times since then. That’s about eight hours of my life – eight hours when I should have been researching the authority of the written word, discovering what exactly the Library of Congress’s metadata scheme actually is as well as reading for my classes in general and overall, being more productive than laughing hysterically yet again when Prince Edward gets creamed by bikers in Central Park. Next, we’ll add Nim’s Island, a delightful adventure romp with an agoraphobic writer and Abagail Breslin as adorable as always. I may also have shared a bucket of popcorn with peanut M&M’s at that movie…Lastly, what did I do last night? Instead of finishing my reading for my classes on Wednesday? Oh right, I rented Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. iTunes rentals will not help my future productivity. Not only did I watch a loopy Dustin Hoffman and his toy store (a store I would still frequent at my age if it actually existed), I watched it with a massive bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream while giggling like a school girl at the escaping bouncy balls.
Leaving aside the fact that this time of year is not good for my very slow metabolism, what makes me throw my temper tantrum against being an adult every year at the same time? Firstly, I think I need to admit to myself it’s not a random temper tantrum. I am always game for a good “kids” movie (hence my love affair with Nanny McPhee but that’s another story entirely…). And to be honest, I love acting like a kid. I think I need to send Walt Disney World a thank you card for that. Somewhere along the way, trips to a place where grown adults are encouraged to act eight years old again, coupled with a healthy dose of childhood delight and a death grip on childhood culture, I actually managed to preserve the kid in me this far. And she’s not happy at this time of year because, let’s face it, she has to act like a grown up constantly. Not that I’m complaining, I’ve always enjoyed school and it is the one thing I have always been really good at. But, this time of year, I have to let the kid in me have her temper tantrum, take one for the team, and eat copious amounts of junk food while watching movies that remind me of the joy and freedom I felt as a kid. Some days, I think I cherish those moments more than any of the adult ones I’ve ever had.
So, if you’re like me, and heading in for the finals collision in the distance, take a moment and let that eight year old who made it this far, buried maybe beneath layers of responsibility, due dates and stress, out for a run. Giggle with friends and buy out a candy store, play hopscotch, swing, walk proudly into the G-rated movie loaded down with food you’ll be sweating off at the gym for the next month. We give ourselves so little carefree time these days – why not let out the eight year old before the temper tantrum hits?