When I was a kid, I had so many opportunities for anticipation. I kind of look at it from the standpoint of “the grass is always greener”…You know, I thought others seem to be in a better situation than me, although they may not be. But other times, I just loved looking ahead to what I KNEW would be special times in the future.
I love the looking FORWARD to an event or activity. I guess this all began, on a bittersweet note with Mark. He was the older brother of my best friend, Jill, and two years older than us.
When Mark’s sister, Jill, and I were in the elementary grades, from Mark’s Jr. High vantage point, he would tell us how babyish our lives were compared to his where he had different teachers for every class, not just one all. day. long.
Then, when Jill and I got to Jr. High, Mark was in High School. NOW teachers treated you differently! In High School, you could go out to eat lunch and you had real responsibilities. Plus, you could actually pick the classes you wanted to take.
Of course, when we were in High School, Mark was in college. In college, you went to school, yes, but now you were an adult and treated like an adult–not babied like in High School.
Ahhh…you see what I mean? It seemed the grass was always greener…
Anticipation also took the form of excitement over holidays and summer vacations.
I dreamed, planned, and just plain looked forward to special family activities. I think part of the joy of the holidays was that the grown-ups did all of the work to make sure that the kids had fun and were treated…special. The focus was on memory-making and gifts!
But the thing I always dreamed and waited for was our annual summer camping trip. I loved the driving with snacks and soda, the swimming, campfires, and bire rides. I relished the opportunity to explore and be independent for hours with the only requirement that we kids come back to the campsite before dinner. And later in the night, we rarely had bedtimes. We could stay up late, late, late…as long as we were quiet around the campfire so that the grown-ups forgot about us.
I remember coming home from one trip and taking my suitcase up to my bedroom. The windows were closed and the house was hot and stuffy from being closed up (with no air conditioning) for over a week. My goldfish was dead in his bowl in the kitchen from the heat (we had someone feed him).
I looked past my pink-curtained windows and felt so sad that it would be a whole year before we did that kind of family adventure again.
Now as an adult, anticipation is tempered with all the planning and preparations that it takes to make memory-worthy experiences. That doesn’t even get into the money the memories cost. These adventures always come with a price tag.
But I still look forward to trips, special events, and holidays. But, of course, I now know that the “grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the hill”. I can find adventure in new experiences and appreciate even everyday things that children–and adults–so often overlook and take for granted.
My garden is pretty overgrown right now and the lawn needs mowing. I am overwhelmed with tomatoes, I have zucchinis the size of baseball bats, and the Japanese beetles have left holes in just about everything.
And my grass…?
It is green, very green.