I remember when we were small and excitable. We’d pack just the new toy we wanted to share. We’d pretend to be asleep so our parents would let us stay over. We’d stay for a week, no problem, no responsibilities.
Now the idea of sleeping over in a cousin’s house is just not feasible. Having to pack clothes, cleaning and grooming products. Finding a few days – even two – when the entire family has no prior commitments is near impossible. And sleeping on the floor or packed into one bed like sardines just bothersome. But a few days ago, that’s what my mum decided she wanted to do. She somehow got it into her head that this may be the last summer we’ll be able to do this. And I think she was feeling reminiscent. So we went, first to her best friend’s house to stay over for one night and then to my uncle’s house for the next.
The day went how any visit would go. There was no building anticipation of night time that we would feel when we were younger. It was weird not feeling that excitement.
My little cousin brother – only two – on the other hand was over the moon. Bouncing up and down the house (literally doing headstands against the sofa), bursting with energy at the thought of us staying over in his house. Demanding his mum to sleep in another room so he could take the big room with all of us.
It got me wondering about two things – just how much I appreciate having my own room, my own pillow, and also the things that loose their magic and become a chore as you grow older.
The obvious is actual chores. I would love to follow mum in the kitchen, feeling very grown up if she let me cut anything (with the butter knife) and feeling very responsible the one time I did the washing up (dragging the chair so I could reach the sink) when she was sick in bed.
Then there’s going to school – something I absolutely loved till I got to college and university where getting out of bed in the morning was just too much effort.
Even things like shopping, meeting up with friends or travelling to places around the UK (for work) are just things that need to be done – nothing new and nothing I will think about before I sleep, impatient for the sun to rise and the new day to start.
I wonder what things I enjoy now will lose their magic as I grow older still. Going to demos? Writing? Sewing? And I wonder if there are things where the magic will reappear – as staying over did for my mum.
What things used to bring you excitement but have turned into chores now?