Last week I was tucking my son Tony into bed when he asked for a drink. Knowing he had recently had a big drink and not wanting to chance waking up to a wet bed, I told him it wasn't such a good idea. Realising he was suddenly DYING of thirst, Tony flopped onto his bed and said;
"But I NEED one Mum! I am fifty-seven thousand thirsty!"
I don't know what the thirsty scale goes up to, but I assume this ranked pretty high, so I caved and said he could have a sip from my water bottle.
Upon returning to his bed, Tony told me;
"Mum, I can't wait til I'm all grown up and can eat what I like, buy anything I want, and can have as many drinks as I want after dinner."
I didn't have the heart to tell him that if you eat whatever you like you are going to be in for a whole host of problems, that if he looked hard enough he would see that even though his parents are grown up, we can buy very little of what we want, and that if you drink too much after dinner you are going to be up and down to the toilet all night!
Looking back to my childhood, I too looked forward to the days when I was old enough to "do whatever I wanted". The thing is you have more freedom in HOW you go about getting things done, but you are bound tighter in the demands that are placed upon you. There are errands that need running, meals that need making, appointments that need attending, bills that need paying, children that need entertaining (and cleaning, and teaching, and feeding...you get the message), spouses that need nagging, clothes and dishes that need washing, bathrooms that need scrubbing, and the list goes on and on.
I get to decide exactly when I wash the dishes, but it doesn't take away from the fact that they need washing and if I take too long, we run out of dishes. I choose when I leave to take Tony to school, but my decision only changes whether or not he is there on time or late. Adulthood has greater freedom, but greater consequences.
Sure it's great being an adult, but I don't think it's worth swapping all the resonsibilties for a glass of water before bedtime.