When I Grow Up…

22 Aug

Today I discovered Matilda: the Musical. I had heard word a while back that this was going to be a thing, but I had no idea that it had already hit the west end and Broadway. Upon hearing about it, I was feeling pretty indifferent. It’s not that I didn’t like Matilda as a kid, and it’s not that I don’t think it’s good musical material. On the contrary, I’m very particular about what film/book material does or does not make a good musical. Shrek? Not musical material. Billy Elliot? Definite musical material. Once? Hella musical material. Legally Blonde? Hell no.

I knew right away Matilda would make for a good musical, I just wasn’t feeling up to tracking the soundtrack down. Then my friend Jon went and posted the song When I Grow Up on tumblr, and, well… here are the lyrics, and you might see why I’ve changed my mind:

When I grow up,
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
That I need to reach to climb the trees
You get to climb when you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will be smart enough to answer all
The questions that you need to know
The answers to before you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will eat sweets every day,
On the way to work, and I will
Go to bed late every night.
And I will wake up
When the sun comes up, and I
Will watch cartoons until my eyes go square,
And I won’t care ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up
I will be strong enough to carry all
The heavy things you have to haul
Around with you when you’re a grown up.

And when I grow up…
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will have treats every day,
And I’ll play with things that mum pretends
That mums don’t think are fun.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up and I
Will spend all day just lying in the sun.
And I won’t burn ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up,
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

When I grow up…

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.
Just because I find myself in this story,
It doesn’t mean that everything is written for me.
If I think the ending is fixed already,
I might as well be saying I think that it’s okay,
And that’s not right.

Looking at the lyrics typed out, I can now easily see how the lyrics/music are written by Tim Minchin, which I didn’t know until only a while ago. And, dear me, I fucking love Tim Minchin.

I’ve felt so nostalgic as I’ve replayed this song on constant repeat all day. This song achieves it’s purpose: to make us remember what it’s like to be a kid and to have such fantastic aspirations. I remember going around as a kid swearing, when I was adult, that I’d eat candy all the time, lie around in the sun, climb trees, and essentially still be a child. This makes me sad, because I feel like I’ve lost so much of what made me such a wonderful child. Of course I couldn’t hold onto some of the things, but there’s so much of my childhood I wish I had held onto. My immense imagination. My optimism. My hyper-ness. My energy.

And yet, most of the time I feel like I’ve managed to hold onto more of my childlike wonder than the majority of people I know my age. Everyone takes everything so fucking seriously. People don’t take joy in the little things anymore. I feel like I’m much better at rolling with the punches than everyone. Maybe it’s because of everything I’ve gone through in my life, but I’ve learned to differentiate the little things and the important things. Speaking of which, I’ve always tried to enjoy the little things. Always.

I went and watched Matilda, the movie, today, which was a lovely experience. I think the quintessential difference in being an adult vs. being a child is that when I was a kid I fantasized about being Matilda. Now that I’m an adult I fantasize about being Ms. Honey.

I find the last stanza to be incredibly inspirational, especially the beginning part that goes: “Just because you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it. If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.” It’s just something nice I’m going to have to remember when things get me down.

I’m tremendously excited to listen to the rest of this musical. I know it’ll be a great one.

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