The question - What is she most afraid of?
His answer - Growing old.
I don't remember the full range of options listed, but at first I contested, saying that wasn't my greatest fear. Yet he quickly reminded me of how hard I sob at movies that touch on growing up, find myself stressed with the idea of getting another year older and frequently fret about not having enough time to do everything. Perhaps it is true.
Yesterday, songwriter Robert Sherman passed away. As I listened to the report on NPR this morning highlighting his roster of work, including Disney's The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I began to mist up thinking about how much I'd love those songs as a kid.
When the theme song to Winnie the Pooh played, my lip trembled and I flashed back to memories of slipping into my parent's room late at night, tugging at my mom's nightgown and saying I couldn't sleep. Reluctantly, she'd pull herself from bed, tote me downstairs and put in our VHS tape of Winnie the Pooh. Though it was the same tape, it never ceased to entertain me and slowly lull me to sleep.
I don't know if I'm afraid of growing old as much as I am afraid of losing the time to dream and achieve. As a kid, I always dreamed of the future, and I think it's that warm feeling of hope that's deeply woven in childhood that I worry about losing. I still want to belong to that hopeful crowd that gets to answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
I'm getting close to my 25th birthday - the age I'd arbitrarily assigned to "officially" being an adult. I have faint laugh lines forming around my eyes and a slight line on my forehead from my habit of furrowing my brow. I don't want to erase any lines - I just don't want to stop dreaming.