The week of the "Pay Your Age" madness at Build-A-Bear, I decided that I would take my two girls (ages 9 and 14) for some cheap and fun bears. We didn't think it would be a big deal. In fact, I wasn't concerned about waiting for too long.
"No one really knows about it probably," I reasoned.
Well, I reasoned wrong.
We made our way into the mall at a gradual pace but were automatically slapped in the face with the fact that if we really wanted a bear, we should prepare to stand in line...for hours.
I'm not about that life. At all.
Instead, we looked around, got some stuff at Claire's, and made our way out of the mall, all in one piece.
Just that evening, I received an e-mail coupon for $15 any purchase at Build-A-Bear as a part of some club I had to join so that we could have potentially gotten some cheap bears.
The next week, while the older sister was away, I took my 9 (almost 10-year-old) to Build-A-Bear. She got a bunny, and we only paid something like $2 for it. Nanny win, am I right?
While in the store, my "Kat" remarked that she was probably the oldest person there. I told her, "Who cares? This is fun. It's okay to like it."
Being almost 10, my Kat is becoming more and more aware of what people think of her and what is cool. Unfortunately, I have already seen it take a toll on her own interests.
Eventually, she embraced her bunny and began caring for it like a baby doll, taking it places, putting it down for naps, feeding it, etc. and it was so heartwarming to watch.
Guess what? We don't have to outgrow things just because we are told we should.
We can be free to play, even as adults.
Maybe our play doesn't look like toting around a stuffed toy and playing mommy, but maybe our play is in our activities.
Swimming, skating, biking, coloring, painting, dancing, doing puzzles, or whatever brings you joy, whatever makes you come alive.
Don't be afraid to play. Don't be afraid to imagine in your mind. You aren't too old. You never will be.