time to grow up

My friend gets the New York Times delivered here in Colorado. I was looking it over, and she told they "beam" it by satelite and then print it here so you can get it on the very day.

I simultaneously mentally mocked her phraseology, "Beamed. Heh," while thinking, "Wow, that makes sense. I was thinking the subscription would be so expensive cuz they had to ship it really fast by air to get it here in time for breakfast."

Of course they print it here. Sheesh. I'm pretty up on technology; my husband and, well, everyone's husband, and many of the wives, too, are in the geek field. I get it. I know my way around the Internet. But this... this seemed disappointing somehow. I liked the idea of crusty New Yorkers tossing bundles of papers into the belly of an airplane bound for my Colorado breakfast table. From our hands to yours in three hours. But it's actually From my brain to yours in three seconds.

A loss of innocence for me--albeit, a small one.

One time while still at university I was hanging out with some people in the kitchen of my sorority house and someone asked this question: "What is the most cosmopolitan city in the world?"

Well, I hadn't been anywhere, really, not even as far as New York, so I answered, "New York."

They laughed at me, not with. One girl in particular was always quite condescending. She was kinda fat, too, and a virgin, and last I knew she was living a life after her parents as a Realtor in Lawrence, Kansas, where we went to school and where she grew up.

"No," she said. "London, silly."

It was the first real, though small, stretch at the seams of my world.

That memory used to make me cringe, but now, not so much. I know that London, in fact, very well may not be the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Their world was bigger than mine at the time, but it was hardly the size of the actual Earth. I've not traveled all that much, but I do try to pay attention to the rhythm of the world. My characters travel extensively, and so I have to do research to put them in time and place. I listen to NPR. I'm trying, occassionally, to talk politics and spirituality with someone who will disagree with me, so that I am forced to take a stand. I think having a stand to take is a sign of maturity, at least for me.

My son skinned his knee and elbow yesterday. (Non-parents may cringe here.) The crying probably stung me as much as the injury stung him, because it was so loud and... enduring. (Parents may cringe here.) I took him in and bandaged him up and got his trembling to stop with a little Sponge Bob. Later I thought how his crying has matured, though; he worried about playing sports, and now he has to wear a bandaid and there's blood on my clothes, boo hooooooo! I thought how my worries had matured as well: I fretted that he hadn't had a helmet on (after I'd told him he had to wear one!) and I thought how I needed to head out to Target for knee pads and elbow pads. I thought about how I was going to get him back on the damn thing. He made such a big deal over it, a skinned knee, for crissake. Not trying to make fun, but it had been so long since I've skinned a knee that I think I've forgotten how it stings. It was hard for me to empathize, which might mean I've matured.

Maybe losing innocence has something to do with forgetting the sting of things. Or maybe in an ideal world, small stings are replaced by bigger ones as we grow and are better able to endure them. I don't know. Growing up definitely has to do with learning about the world, and that definitely often stings.

Hmmm. I think I might try the Times.

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