When you ask my son what he’d like to be when he’s grown up, he’ll tell you that…. he doesn’t want to grow up.
He’s a smart kid and I don’t blame him. He likes to play, likes to hang out, and definitely doesn’t like to get up early in the morning.
This Peter Pan attitude has brought us already a good share of heartache and discussions without ending. I, too, would rather play all day than being a responsible adult. Therefore, it can be a challenge for me to explain to him why or how being grown-up can be fun. There is no good answer to the argument that it cannot be very interesting nor funny to earn your own money, clean your own house, cook your own meals, and – the summit of all – be responsible for a family. My little Peter Pan tells me that he’ll never get married, and will never have children.
I try to use the drama and bend it into a good influence, explaining that if and when one goes to college and learns for a good job, that job will be something that one likes to do. But even at his tender age (eight) he has figured out that all jobs have boring tasks. **sigh** Now, what could I possibly say to that?
I pointed out that he and I have the advantage of being ADHD, and – thanks to our condition – we are able to do the few (very few… ha!) boring tasks in an interesting job all the while we’re working in our mind on our own things. It is true: whenever I had boring jobs, I would write blogs on the side, or poems, or e-mails and letters. Even with tight surveillance from “Big Brother” (which has brought internet research during working time to a screeching halt) I always managed to post my blogs quickly, ever so quickly, or send off my e-mails. Writing poems was fun and always went undetected.
I explained all this to my boy, and he had even a small smile playing around his lips, but only to get back into drama-mode, with tears and all, wailing that he does not want to grow up, period!
All that was left at this point was to say: “Be careful what you wish for,” and explain that all the people we know who don’t have to go to a regular job every day “pay” for it one way or another. It can be with pain (receiving disability), or loneliness (receiving survivor’s benefits), or other unpleasant things.
It isn’t easy to live with Peter Pan, since we cannot stop nature.
And it is very hard to find and tell of qualities in which I don’t believe myself. I’d much rather do “creative stuff” all day long, and go traveling, which is my passion, and which is often the starting point for my creativity.
I suggested that, for now, he should enjoy being a kid, rather than spending time having negative thoughts about “later.”