We’ll tell you when you’re older
Even though I know the outcome of their fateful decision, there are times when I identify with Adam and Eve. I am wired in such a way that the quest for knowledge is an insatiable thirst. When a new thought or idea crosses my mind, I study relentlessly to learn more. There are very few things which I allow to stand in the way of learning.
This hasn’t always been the case only my obstacle had nothing to do with me or my efforts. It was entirely my parents’ faults.
Growing up in the South, my life was a pretty insulated one. Whenever there was something that adults thought was too much knowledge too soon or something they didn’t want to disrupt our childhood innocence was met with a definitive, “We’ll tell you when you are older”. In my early elementary years, I would just shrug it off and not press much farther, trying not to think too much more about the forbidden knowledge. Although many times my wonderings often led to a dramatic and exhausted utterance of the phrase I would grow to despise.
How could they resist not answering my pint-sized version of adorable curious-minds-want-to-know? In their defense, my nature was to ask questions, longing to understand anything and everything. I am certain I wore them down with curiosity.
As I grew a bit older, their resolve was steeled, but little did they know so was mine. They held the key to a vast library of knowledge to which I wanted access. I vowed I would remember all those questions to which my only answer was the annoying “we’ll tell you when you are older”. Unfortunately, my determination was no match for my curiosity and inevitably, there would be some other fascinating thing which would capture my attention and off I would go learning everything I could about my new interest.
They didn’t use their pat answer during my high school or college years, because, frankly, I think they knew I was on to them. They just wanted to keep us little forever. It was either that or they are information scrooges. If you’ve met my parents, take your pick.
If I had been smarter during all those years living at home, I should have pinpointed an exact date, age, or time when I would be deemed old enough to know all this forbidden knowledge. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? I have been waiting years for all those answers to which my parents are the self-appointed gatekeepers.
Visions of “nobody sees the Wizard” have been swirling around in my imagination for decades.
Apparently, the answer to how long one must wait to be old enough is about forty years. Just this weekend, I was doing some fact checking from my kindergarten days for my upcoming book. I sent a benign text to my mom asking about our first puppy. She must have been feeling incredibly generous or perhaps it was the lateness of the hour that caused her to let her guard down. Either way, the stingy knowledge keeper let slip a piece of the story I never knew.
AHA! Knowledge is mine . . . sayeth the child.
I am tickled to know that I’m finally old enough to know the once unallowable answers. Now if I can only remember all those questions!