When I was a little girl, about 5 years old, I was riding home in the car and my mom was driving. I don’t remember where we had been or the circumstances surrounding this day, I just remember my feelings at that particular moment. As I rode in the back seat of that car I looked at my mom with all of her freedom–getting to drive her own car anywhere she wanted and make all of her own decisions–and I felt jealous. I asked her how old she was because I wanted to know how old I’d have to be before I got to enjoy that same freedom. 33, she said. She was 33.
Today, my friends, I have finally arrived. Today is my birthday, and I am 33.
And, while it’s silly looking back at 5-year old me who was jealous of adulthood (what I wouldn’t give to be a kid and able to do cartwheels without throwing out my back or wear skinny jeans because I was actually too skinny to wear anything else…) I think I was on to something. Childhood is wonderful and magical and all that jazz, but adulthood is pretty awesome, too.
In honor of the fact that I’ve finally achieved the perfection that is 33, here are 33 reasons why being 33 really is better than being 5:
- I don’t have a bedtime–as I write this post I am, in fact, up past my “bedtime”. And who cares? (Tomorrow me will care, that’s who. But tomorrow me already appreciates the sacrifice.)
- I can ride on roller coasters all by myself.
- I can lick the cake batter out of my own bowl and not have to share with anybody (I may have told my children that it’s poisonous and could make them die, so they’d better not ever touch my cake batter or else.)
- I can drive my own car anywhere I want it to go–If I feel like taking a mid-morning jaunt to “the candy store” (Starbucks), I just get in the car and go. No permission needed.
- I don’t have to play house–I have my own real husband and three mini-me’s running around our real house every day. How cool is that?
- I get to actually be a teacher, and not just play school.
- I have money to buy things I actually want–When you’re a kid, it sure takes a lot of $1 weekly allowances to buy that trinket at the toy store.
- I’ve traveled and experienced many parts of the world
- I can wear high heels and lipstick (not that I ever really do, but I can, and that’s what really matters)
- I don’t have to get shots every time I go to the doctor.
- I can watch any movie I want, even if it’s not made by Disney.
- I’m in charge–I get to make rules for other (little) people and they have to follow them, not the other way around.
- I can eat really spicy food and actually enjoy the experience.
- I can reach the top shelf without having to stand on a step stool.
- I know how to tame my own hair (and I don’t even scream every time I brush it).
- I get my own phone so I can play Angry Birds and PBS Kids any time I want (That’s what phones are for, right?).
- I DON’T HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL.
- I don’t eat cold hot dogs or soggy pizza for lunch (My diet as a 5-year old was questionable, at best. We can get into that more later.)
- I know how to ride a bike. And it’s fun.
- If I want to eat ice cream for dinner I just do it.
- I get to have my mom, my dad, and my sisters as some of my closest friends.
- I get to stare into my baby’s eyes and know that I helped make that. One of the true miracles of life.
- I can read bedtime stories to myself.
- I can cut up my own steak.
- I get the big bedroom, and my bed is the comfiest one in the house.
- I don’t have to wait for recess to play with my friends.
- I know how to count past 100…which is helpful when paying $1500 veterinarian bills (one of the downsides of being a grown-up, but let’s focus on the positives).
- Nobody monitors my screen time.
- I can appreciate sleep for what it is: a daily miracle.
- Nobody cares how “cool” my clothes are. I can even wear yoga pants every day, and those aren’t even real pants. Bliss.
- I control my own destiny–If I want to do something, I make it happen.
Now that I’m 33 years old, I can honestly say that this age is everything that little 5-year-old-me had hoped it would be. I’m excited for this next year and all that it will bring…maybe I’ll even fit into those skinny jeans again.