Slice of Life: What’s My Age Again?

Monday morning recap: Chuckle. Another two, three, four Cheerios dribble down my chin. Snort. The skim milk my parents have trained me to drink comes out my nose. Belly laugh. One hearty, stomach flipping, Santa Claus-rivaling belly laugh completes my morning routine. Watching Sponge Bob Square Pants, how can you help but giggle?

As we wrap up another devilishly fun Welcome Week and charge into a jam-packed school year, it is easy to lose sight of what is important about college life. Our professors and parents may insist D.C. and GW life offer every opportunity you could want. As students, we know this simply is not true. The one thing D.C. lacks is just some time to hang around on Monday mornings and watch cartoons – that is, the chance to just be a kid.

Maybe it is because we spend so much time watching huffy businessmen traipsing through our campus all day, or maybe it is because we see the staggering price of homelessness that we choose to take college seriously. But, for GW students, it is even more than that. As we are so politically aware, it seems at times the only pressure not thrust upon us is the pressure to take a breather.

Do you even remember the last time you opted for the outdated, back-of-the-rack copy of Highlights magazine over some trendy one when you were in the doctor’s office? How about the last time you traded a beer for a simple glass of Sunny Delight? The point is, living in the exhausting beehive of the District sucks us into adulthood even before we need to mature. Slow down, GW. It is too easy to grow up too fast.

This summer I spent a month babysitting the most energetic 3-year-old ever to invade the Northern suburbs of Chicago. Although she had an attention span shorter than the Road Runner, there was one thing that could keep her focused – Play Doh.

To her, every new mushy mass was a captivating opportunity for creation and excitement, each cylinder ready to be molded by her chubby little fingers. And when any of the Play Doh molds or containers would jam, a sincere sense of fear took hold of her small body as if her world hinged on its successful re-opening.

From her, I learned the great part of being a kid is finding wonder and amazement in even the most benign and ludicrous of situations.

To those of you who still quote lines from Ben Stiller’s greatest work, “Heavy Weights,” and find farts unabashedly hilarious, I salute you. And for the rest of us who sometimes need a little reminder just to breathe, try to take a little time to simply do something fun in the next few weeks. Between the health care crisis and the economic crapshoot, we’ve got enough to worry about. Your childhood misses you – don’t be afraid to relive it once in a while.

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