"You're worse than the kids, Donna. You just refuse to grow up!"
My husband stared up at me as I sat at the top the yellow winding slide grinning down at him. Even from atop my high perch, I caught the gleam in his deep blue eyes. I knew he wished he wasn't so 'grown-up.'
"C'mon Jack, Its fun. I dare you to come up here and try it. I double dare you."
For a brief moment, Jack hesitated, tempted to take me up on my dare, but then with a wistful look, he shook his head. "Uh uh. Not me. You're not getting me to climb up on that kid's slide.
"Chicken!" I threw my head back and let out a howl.
"Maybe so." He shot back at me. "But I'm an adult, not some overgrown kid."
"Ok, smarty patooney. What does being an adult have anything to do with letting your hair down and having a blast."
"It's called maturity, my dear. Mature, responsible..."
I cut him off, "and boring."
Giving myself a push, I slid down the winding slide landing feet first on the sand. Jack held his hand out for me. I grabbed it and tugged trying to get him to follow me over to the steps to climb back up the slide.
"Whoa lady, I'm not going up there."
Chiding him, I snorkled and laughed. "Come on Mr. Adult. Come have fun and be a kid with me. You know you're itching to try it."
Jack grinned at me with that boyish look that always made my heart melt and flutter with butterflies.
"I wish I could let myself go but I can't. It's so undignified."
Jack was the love of my life. We meet back in high school. I was outgoing, a bit on the wild side and always eager to try new adventures. He was the complete opposite; stable, quiet and responsible. He was probably attracted to my crazy and wild side; me to his calm and steady demeanour. Shortly after graduation we got married and within three years, we had our two boys. Over the next eight years I settled into a routine that seemed to drain my energy and leave me feeling frustrated and empty. I spent my days washing clothes, floors and dishes and running my sons around town from one activity to the next. Most nights Jack came home from work too exhausted to do anything except slouch in front of the television watching sports. We spent our weekends visiting his folks or mine. We had definitely arrived in “adulthood.” Both of us had become responsible and mature, but completely lacking in fun and adventure. I started becoming resentful of my husband, my children and my grown up life. I ached to be free again and often let my mind daydream of those ‘good old days’ when I had no responsibilities. I kept wondering where my life had gone.
One morning I caught a glimpse of myself as I passed the living room mirror. I was only thirty-one, but I looked older. I had gained weight and my long hair had lost all its bounce much like I had.
Jack standing nearby noticed my shocked look reflected in the mirror. “What’s the matter, Honey?”
“What’s happened to us, Jack? I hate what my life has become.”
“Are you sorry you married me?” Jack’s pitiful look made me cringe.
“I love you, Jack. I just wish there was more to life than what it’s become.”
“Then let’s make our lives fun again. I’ll work less hours and we’ll make more time for us like we used to.”
I threw my arms around his neck. “Will you do that for me, Jack?”
“I would do anything to make you happy.”
So that’s how we ended up at the park today. Jack and I agreed to take every other day and let loose again just like we used to. We also started praying together in the mornings and allowing God to show us how to rekindle the adventure within us. That was the catalyst that sparked the joy back in my life. I discovered being an adult meant learning to have a healthy balance of responsibility and fun.
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