Maybe when you were a kid, you were lectured by an adult that one day, you'd have to "grow up." This usually meant maturing as you got older, and dropping your childish interests for more mature things. However, I think it's high time that we also admit that the adult life you were promised when you were a kid is absolutely not the reality you live in now. In fact, there are more times when I feel like an overgrown kid than an adult recently, and I'm tired of feeling guilty about it!
1. "My parents threw away all of my stuffed animals when I was young. A few years ago, my boyfriend and I were walking through a Christmas market, and there was a booth where a woman was selling hand-crocheted stuffed animals. I commented to him in passing how I loved this cute crocheted cow she had, and about some of the other designs I thought my daughter would like, but they were really expensive, and my daughter has a million stuffed animals, so I moved on. Christmas morning came, and I opened one of his gifts to me — it was the crocheted cow. I love it and sleep with it every night, and I don't care if anyone thinks I'm a loser for doing so."
2. "Having a 'kid's dinner' brings me so much joy. It’s easy, it’s tasty, and I can upgrade my drink to a white wine now."
3. "My daughter is an only child, and I love to just go outside and 'play' with her; using my imagination in the backyard with her, traveling down the 'river,' climbing 'Mount Everest,' or even just chasing each other around. I love it. It's become my favorite pastime."
4. "When my grandfather was still alive, he hid Easter eggs with quarters in them. He didn't care that we were grown adults, and we didn't care that we were running around in his house fighting for those eggs. Those quarters paid for our laundry and tolls (before easy pass expanded)."
5. "I still read YA novels or even children's books. FYI, some of these books do a better job of LGBTQ+ and racial representation than adult books do. In addition, they tackle problems such as mental health in a better approach as well."
6. "I still watch Arthur reruns! It’s literally on PBS kids, but I still think it’s hilarious and nostalgic."
7. "I sleep on dinosaur or TMNT sheets. I sleep with a stuffed animal, as well as have others around my apartment. I play with Legos and Play-Doh. I color using kids' coloring books. I love watching other kid shows, too. I love playing tag and other kid games. If it makes you happy and doesn't hurt anybody, I don't see the problem. I still do the adult things I need to do."
8. "Absolutely watching Mr. Rogers. I was so excited to find it on Prime for my kids. That's who I grew up watching. My dad wrote him a letter in the '80s about goggle safety in a video segment where they were using nails and a hammer. Mr. Rogers wrote my dad back thanking him for bringing that to his attention; it was an older segment recycled, but he would record a new one with goggles. I got my sister a Mr. Rogers card for her 40th birthday last year; I cried when I bought it, and she cried when she read it. His gentleness meant everything in our development."
9. "I was told I couldn't sleep with a blanket when I got married, but I do, and my husband lovingly folds in and puts it under my pillow every time he makes the bed. Don't marry someone who can't handle a harmless comfort measure."
10. "I, a 35-year-old female, went to my friends' apartment to hang out. They're three dudes in their thirties, and they had recently bought a bunch of Nerf guns on a nostalgic whim. I don't know what possessed me, but I picked one up and shot a Nerf dart at one of my friends. Then, it was ON! Suddenly, the four of us were in an all-out every-man-for-himself Nerf war. Literally diving behind furniture, making a dash to pick up the darts to 'reload,' all inside this tiny apartment. The battle only ended once we were all covered in sweat and out of breath. It was genuinely the most fun I have had in years."
11. "My apartment is decorated with a lot of Disney-inspired art, some unique and 'adult,' but some more 'childish.' If anyone even tries to make me feel bad about it, I cut them off. I won't allow anyone to bring me down for what gives me joy. I'd rather live in a place where everything makes me happy than in a home with boring art you can find everywhere. I will be a Disney Adult until I die and make no apologies for that."
12. "I still enjoy stepping on crunchy leaves. There’s something so satisfying about the sound and the feel. It brought me so much joy as a kid, and it still does as an adult."
13. "Cosplay! I'm a 34-year-old man, and I never grew out of the dressing-up and playing-pretend phase of childhood. I love sewing, crafts, and escapism, so it's perfect!"
14. "Neopets! I don't have my account from my childhood, but I made a new one a few years back with the same animal Korbat (the mouse/bat) I had. It really relaxes me on my lunch break; I feed him an omelet while I eat as well.
15. "A treasure hunt at my mom's. Since I was a kid, she'd write and hide clues around the house that would lead me to the 'treasure.' A clue, just a line or two on a Post-it or piece of paper, contained a puzzle, riddle, or doodle for me to figure out the location of the next clue. The prize is usually my favorite sweet or something she bought for me. We do this once per year during my weekend visit."
16. "I wear my Heelys (running shoes with wheels on the bottom) around Costco and other stores for quick, genuinely fun shopping. I get a lot of judgmental looks, but it can make me happy even after the longest workdays."
17. "Whenever I move out to my own place, I'm gonna get myself a really nice wooden train set; playing with trains has always been so fun and calming to me, and I can't wait."
18. "I bought a VCR a month ago just because I found old VHS tapes that I had recorded Saturday morning cartoons on. They were awesome, and I found we only used to have to deal with two commercials at a time! Which explains why bathroom breaks were always a race to get back in time!"
19. "I will never ever grow out of fidget toys and anything sensory. My parents and friends always like to shame me for it, but I just tell them to suck it up because they're going to be around for the rest of my life. They also really, really help with my anxiety."
20. "Being sung to as well. Music has always been one of my biggest coping mechanisms ever since I can remember, so sometimes, on rough nights when I have trouble sleeping (or just when I feel like it), I have a playlist of songs I like to listen to that help me calm down so I can fall asleep better."
21. "Many years ago, back when I worked in an office, we would have long shifts at month's end. Often from 7.30 a.m. to 4 or 5 a.m. To give us a bit of a break and a chance to unwind, I would take my team outside into the dark, and we would play with sparklers, writing messages for each other to figure out. But our favorite thing was when I would bring the bubbles in, and one person would spin on their chair blowing the bubbles, and the rest of the team would have to pop them. I organized an inter-team challenge once where we would line up our chairs and race other teams to row down the office. The winning team got to play with the bubbles. Sometimes, you just need a break from adulthood."
22. "I've got dozens of coloring books, and I don't know how many pencils/pens/crayons. I'm not an artist, but I feel artistic when coloring. They take my mind away from the everyday and lead me into a wonderland. They are usually gifts for a particular person, but sometimes, I'll finish them and save them for giving away."
23. "Kinder Eggs and Happy Meals. You get food AND a toy; I struggle to see the downsides to these!"
24. "Sleeping with my blankie (childhood blanket) and stuffed giraffe animal Sammy. Blankie has always helped me sleep and have few nightmares since I was little, and will for a very long time. Because of my stress, anxiety, and depression in the past few years, Sammy has been a comfort through it. LET’S NORMALIZE SLEEPING WITH CHILDHOOD BLANKETS AND STUFFED ANIMALS."
25. "When I got married a few years ago, my bachelorette playlist was all '90s pop songs. Those songs hold such a special place in my heart, and they're still great!"
—Anonymous, 36, TN