How Old Are You on the Inside?

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I have just finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and am thinking about a conversation between the two young main characters.

“Grown-ups and monsters aren’t scared of things.”

“Oh, monsters are scared,” said Lettie. “That’s why they’re monsters. And as for grown-ups…” She stopped talking, rubbed her freckled nose with a finger. Then, “I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

This is so true. Even though I have 2 teenage boys, a husband, a house, pets and bills, on the inside I feel about 14 years old. I am in a bright yellow one-piece bathing suit visiting the Thousand Islands with my best friend. I feel the hot sun on my skin as we “lay-out” on the cement dock, listening to “Blister in the Sun” and having an animated conversation, hoping that the cute boys are noticing us. Even better, I am hoping one of them will come and throw me off the dock into the water as I have seen them do to some of the other girls, picking me up and spinning me around effortlessly as I scream in protest, secretly enjoying the attention.

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