What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

When I grow up, I want to be someone who walks with her husband at night ... around a fountain in the middle of a warm, southern campground (a fancy little place on the north side of Houston, because we have returned to the Lone Star State, but we’ve got to address some things before we move back on the boat). When I grow up and am walking like that, with my husband around the fountain, I want to be leading a little dog on a leash, ... and I want to be a person who looks up at the bright moon, at a large jet passing overhead, and thinks that the people on that jet, passing by that moon, heading off on their adventures, don’t have it quite so good as I do ... because I have an old motorhome that takes me places and lets me pass from the Great Plains, over Oklahoma’s red dirt, into Texas’s bluebonnets, without having to sleep in a bed that’s not mine. (In truth though, RV Dog can claim any soft spot as his own—as his bed—as his nest. And if he snuggles in next to me, this ability kinda rubs off.)

(We got back into the Houston area and reunited with the old Jeep and the stand-up paddle board!)

(The P.O. box had a ton of mail waiting for me, including a nice little “book haul.”)

When I grow up, I want to have stacks of books waiting to take me places: on adventures, into new ideas, back in time and forward in emotion. I want to be a person who puts work aside after lunch to go for a walk. It would be cool to grow up and watch Texas-history webinars after dinner, with a churlish husband who argues with the presenters’ sometimes too-sweeping generalizations or stubborn application of modern thought processes to historical conundrums (he wouldn’t say “modern mentalite,” but that’s what he would mean). Sure, as a grown up, I’d have to mutter about the $3.25 price tag to run the washing machine in the campground laundry room, but I think grown ups look for things to mutter about, so it might as well be the cost of laundry, rather than the neighbor’s _______ [fill in the blank with popular muttering topics]. Transience can’t solve all problems, but it can obviate issues with neighbors, since neighbors don’t remain such for very long.

Sure, I know that when I grow up, I’ll have to pay bills, and do accounting, and review work stuff late at night. It will feel like my phone is an email conveyor belt, rolling new issues onto the screen as quickly as I can address and delete the old issues. But my phone will also have happy texts and bright snippets of pictures from friends’ adventures: blue water and gray manatees; sunshine and faux pirate ships; northern forests just shaking off winter, glowing leafy green behind faces I haven’t seen in too long.

As a grown up, maybe my shoulder will hurt after shooting my bow ... because I’m older as a grown up (and maybe too because I don’t have the stoutest connective tissue). But hey, it’s not so bad, really. And as a grown up, I’ll be able to have Buc-ee’s cake balls, and those Buc-ee’s fake chicharrones (“puffed wheat snacks”), whenever I want (except with slower metabolism, “whenever I want” may not be a great idea). (Dear Reader, if you are not from Texas and know not the wonders of Buc-ee’s gas stations, then I hope that, when you grow up, you get to visit a Buc-ee’s and meet the patron beaver of all road trips—because these gas stations are giant and amazing and feature wonderfully tacky beaver statues out front ... and have really good snacks and truly clean “ladies’ lounges.”)

Right now, I’m not sure I can say exactly what the best part of growing up will be, but I’m guessing that one of the things that will be in the running is realizing that, really, there isn’t much to lose, so one might as well take that chance.

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