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We’ll tell you when you’re older

April 6, 2016

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.

little me

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!

  1. What a cute picture!! 😊 you look so sweet. I guess most of us got a similar answer when we were kids. And now we know all the answers. Haha! 😊

    • I was just flabbergasted when I put together the fact that I finally got a question answered. And I am guessing that I do not stand alone in this typical answer. The funny thing is that it bothered me so much that unless the answer was truly detrimental to their well-being I answered all my kids questions. Different generations. 🙂 Feel better sweet friend. I am praying for you!

  2. Vera permalink

    Thanks for reminding me of that old familiar phrase! Can’t wait to hear about your new book!

  3. I know what you mean…I always tried to answer my kids’ questions as honestly as I could while also trying to be wise as to how much they could process at that particular age. They’re adults now with families & kids of their own…I wonder how they’ll answer their kids questions? 😊

  4. Sheran permalink

    OK, Sallygal Senior, remember that some things are on a need to know basis and if you can remember the questions, we as your parents, will let you know if you are old enough to need to know!

    • Oh mom! I knew you would find a witty retort to this one! I have been searching high and low for that list of questions and . . . Davy’s batting helmet. 🙂

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