Kids have all the fun. Why is that? They can dedicate an entire afternoon to setting up a lemonade stand. Stand out on the street, solicit people and folks actually buy the stuff. Do these kids wash their hands before making the lemonade? Are there health codes being violated? Child labor laws? Who cares? Look how adorable our children are—and so entrepreneurial—and if they say the money is going to charity, even if they are coughing a lung out into the lemonade, people will still buy it. Because kids can get away with things like that (but only if they are cute).
Imagine adults trying to set up a lemonade stand. Not so cute. More like creepy. But what would you do if you saw a bunch of housewives waving a sign by the side of the road saying, “Ice cold lemonade! Help support our hair extensions!” Poor things. Keep on driving. And don’t look back.
Ice cream trucks. Friday afternoons, the ice cream man makes his rounds through the streets of our beloved town. Kids line up with dollar bills in their chubby hands and dreams of chocolate vanilla soft serve swirl on a sugar cone in their heads (ok, that is my dream). So adorable seeing them eating their purchases and getting their clothes all dirty at the same time. Now when the adults wait on line, possibly cutting the little kids in line…not so adorable. Or healthy. We older folks must watch our sugar intake and if you have become lactose intolerant, ice cream is never a good idea. Those kids have all the fun.
Kiddie pools. Little cutie pies in their swim diapers reeking havoc on the shallow waters of these pools. We shlep bags filled with water toys all so our kids can splash around and have fun. Adults in a kiddie pool? No, not so fun. Aside from the whole bathing suit thing, it becomes a process that few of us have patience for. And any woman knows what a pain it is to have to go to the ladies room after swimming in a pool.
Glasses. How cute are little kids showing off their new glasses? Wearing them on the tips of their nose; taking pictures so we can freeze those moments in time when they thought they looked better in glasses and didn’t demand contacts…and then as adults, when are eyesight enters middle age and we have to take off our glasses to see, or wear a pair on top of our heads that we forget are there, or a pair around our neck…yup, not so adorable, but certainly comical.
And then there is the excitement and joy surrounding the loss of our baby teeth. I still remember losing my first tooth. I was around 7 years old and my dad told me to take a bite of an apple so it would come out. My mom had bought a little case shaped like a tooth to put my tooth in so the tooth fairy would have easy access. It was all so exciting. And then there were the teeth that fell out and then I lost them all together. I can still remember composing the apology letter to the tooth fairy so I could still collect my money. And now let us transport ourselves to adulthood. And losing teeth. Yes, in the midst of everything else, my dear mother needed to have a tooth pulled. Long story short, she actually developed a hole in her head that was not given to her by me and she needed to have a tooth extracted. It came out perfectly. Does the tooth fairy come for a grown up? I was determined to have her put it under her pillow so she could wake up with a financial surprise. Unfortunately, we can’t find the tooth so we will never know. But again, little teeth—adorable, grown up teeth—icky. And I apologize to the person who finds it.
Yes, to be young is a lovely time. Like when you go to Israel when you are 16 and the heat and cobblestones don’t affect you in the least. And then you go 30 years later and the fear of dehydrating is so strong that you buy a $20 can of soda from a questionable-looking Middle Eastern man. So the lesson here is enjoy what still works, enjoy the people who think you are still adorable and if you find a molar with a crown on it please return it to my mother.
Banji Ganchrow is thinking that the Mets might not make it into the World Series this year, but fully supports the Cubs because nice people come from and live in Chicago.