Looking back at it all now, it occurs to me that the life lessons a child learns while trying to turn into an adult can be downright screwy. Here are a few things I picked up on the journey:
- Always tell the truth. Except when you shouldn’t. For instance, the answer to the question “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?” is never, ever “No, not really.”
- Be Creative. Except when you shouldn’t. This was when I learned that an improvised flamethrower is not the best method for removing a wasp’s nest. It works, but the collateral damage can be significant.
- Understand that what seems normal and natural to you likely won’t be to everyone. For instance, when I was a kid, I often wondered what it would be like to be someone else. How was the world I saw and experienced different for them? How was my sisters’, or my uncle’s reality different or the same? Expressing the thought was not a good idea. People worried about me.
- Repeating a word in mixed company you heard your uncle use? A very not good idea.
Things I learned as an adult:
- I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did.
- The grown-ups I knew as a child were, as the movie said, “Making it up as they go, just like I was.” Wish I’d known that at the time.
- Growing up is highly overrated. I can’t recommend it.
I won’t call this something I learned, just a piece of new information (well, it was new to me): I have a Wikipedia page now. I have no idea how it got there. The information is superficial, naturally, but mostly accurate. Read it while you can, because it’s being considered for deletion. And here I thought I’d “arrived.” Richard Parks.