Courage

A weekly family column for the 100 Mile House Free Press

There’s a quote floating around the internet that says “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” and is attributed to E.E. Cummings.

If I’m completely honest, I spent about 15 minutes looking to find a source. On Wikiquote, which I wouldn’t consider a trustworthy source, it’s listed as unsourced. Some people are selling inspirational prints with the text on it. It’s quoted in the odd book but it’s not like printing a book nowadays necessitates rigorous factual adherence.

In any case, by its measure, as courageous as a worm coming to sample to the morning dew before lounging to watch the sunrise.

What I really am is a child and I’ve certainly grown up to be a child.

We all have little pet peeves. For many people, they’re rational things like someone not covering their mouth when they sneeze or someone chewing loudly during a movie (although I might contest that these are pet peeves as they’re generally not something a particular person finds annoying but rather something that is often universally despised). My wife’s pet peeves are also a bit more rational, such as the lack of proper pockets or even fake pockets on women’s pants.

My pet peeves are a lot more childish in nature. I end up having to call people quite regularly, meaning I end up calling people’s voicemail quite regularly. For some reason unfathomable reason, there are a number of people out there (you know who you are) who start their voicemail with “you’ve reached…” followed by their name. In fact, no, I have not reached you. If I had reached you, I wouldn’t be leaving a voicemail.

However, this week I believe I managed my biggest achievement, and correspondingly most courageous step, in growing up to becoming a child yet.

My wife and I were watching a TV show together and at the end of one episode she stopped it and said it was time to go to bed.

Wanting to watch another episode, I briefly protested but quickly saw it was of no use. Now you might think I threw a temper tantrum at this point, turning the TV back on amidst screaming and kicking, to achieve my goals and become the ultimate child but as my mother can attest, even when I was a child, I was more devious than that; I needed to teach my wife a lesson.

Keeping in mind that my wife’s point was that we should go to bed earlier, and not that we should watch less TV, I stayed up for another hour and a half without watching TV, rather than the hour the TV episode would have taken.

If that’s not courageous for becoming who I really am, I don’t know what is.

P.S. I don’t think I’ve ever been as tired as I was the next day.