I’m An Adult

I’ve never really felt much like an adult, no matter what age I’ve reached.

Not when I landed my first real job out of college.
I was just stoked somebody actually hired me! 

Not when I got married.
It was just a big party with awesome food and music where I got to dress up all fancy-like and share a whole lotta love.

Not when I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time in my home.
That was just an excuse to make sure all the food I enjoyed was there. Plus, we didn’t have to drive anywhere afterward. Double score.  

Not getting pregnant or having my son.
Now I had a little buddy to read to, play with and snuggle on.

Not buying my 1st home.
We could decorate it anyway we wanted to and didn’t need to worry about landlord approval! 


It was seeing a college student show up in flannel PJ pants and a stained t-shirt to a talk given by Judith Butler. He stood in line during the Q&A part, waiting his turn to ask a question, and I marveled at the fact that he looked like he had rolled out of bed only moments prior. It was 6pm.

What was he thinking wearing a stained shirt and pajamas to attend a packed house lecture by the Judith Butler? Shouldn’t he have a little more respect?

With that last thought I realized…holy crap – I’m totally an adult.

I’m not sure why this particular moment really brought that home. After all, I’m in my thirties, have a kid, car, house, and husband. By all intents and purposes, I’m totally an adult – at least in the eyes of our society. But I never really claimed that identity for one reason or another…yet, all it took was a kid in pajamas to really cause it to sink in. sigh.

What was YOUR “Oh hey, look at that. I’m an adult” moment?

11 thoughts on “I’m An Adult

  1. That same kid showing up for my Lit class in pajamas at 2:30 pm and telling me he couldn’t turn in his paper because he was hungover and forgot to write it.

  2. It dawned on me a couple weeks ago. My husband called me on the way to the Apple store. He was picking up a new MBP and asked if I wanted one too since my laptop is aging and has been acting flaky. I told I’d rather have new windows in our bedroom instead. I have no idea what came over me but I knew at that moment I was an adult. PS. The new windows are on order!

  3. It wasn’t until I had to converse with a team of doctors on a daily basis and advocate for my child’s best interest that I truly felt like an adult…I felt like the NICU aged me somewhat 😉

    • I literally gasped at this response. That is totally an adult decision! I’ve been on a committee for something at a local school (as a community member no less, since my son doesn’t attend this particular one). The committee itself is made up of a bunch of “Real” adults, and I always wonder when I’m going to be exposed as not really supposed to being there. 😉

  4. When I stopped recognizing the celebrities in magazines and on popular web sites, and when I stopped knowing what songs were popular. I remember looking through a glossy mag once while getting a pedicure, and I did not recognize a single person in it. I thought it was foreign. It wasn’t. I’m just that out of touch, which means I’m now a grown-up stuck in the past. Grunge is still a thing, right?

  5. I’m an OLDER ADULT (who can’t quite accept it just yet). But for all you younger Mothers, here’s something I wrote for you to ponder:

    The Day Your Daughter STOPS Being Your Little Girl

    This is NOT a good day. Nothing to celebrate…in fact there is no warning at all. There really isn’t an age attached to it because it differs greatly within and among families. Before “The Day” arrives you do such wonderful things with your daughter. You brush her hair and tell her when it would look better in a pony-tail, braided or worn down with that little butterfly clip you bought just for her…that she ADORES. She smiles up at you as if you are GOD. She watches you brush your teeth, apply make-up, get dressed and wants to emulate everything you do. So you get a little box of costume jewelry JUST so she can “get ready” right along with you. At night, she gets in the bath with you and you shampoo her hair and tell her how beautiful she is, and she smiles lovingly back at you as if you could do no wrong. Once you’re both out of the tub and toweled off, you put her in her Strawberry Shortcake PJs (insert the kind your daughter wore….these are specific to my life), put lotion on her and even a dab of your own perfume so she can be “just like Mommy.” She’s TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS. Then you take her to bed, read her a bedtime story (in my case I made up a lot of the bedtime stories we shared) and then you say your prayers together. You start out with “Now I lay me down to sleep,” and end with “God bless Mommy and Daddy and Bubba and the grandparents and the dogs and the cats” and…the list goes on. You turn on her Strawberry Shortcake nightlight, her favorite cassette tape of music she likes to sleep to and give her hugs and kisses and tell her how much you love her. You “get her sugar” until she giggles and wriggles beneath her Strawberry Shortcake sheets and comforter….not forgetting to give her that Strawberry Shortcake dolly and any other stuffed animal (My Little Pony was a favorite in my house) to sleep with. You blow kisses as you tiptoe out of her room…..and all is right with the world.

    Before “The Day” you pack her lunchbox, put her hair up in a braided pony-tail for school, so it looks good all day, dress her in her cutest outfit and send her off. You wait for her arrival back home and she runs into your arms so EAGER to see her Mommy again…and you her. She now smells sweaty and looks dirtier than when you sent her off to school, but you revel in that fragrance, too. “Dirty girl sugar” I called it. She shows you everything she did at school, tells you every word her teacher said…..ENDLESSLY sometimes…and wants something to eat. Of course you have her favorite snack ready and waiting…because, remember, to her…you are “God.” Then at night you start the beautiful process all over again. It just couldn’t get any better. And you would be correct in that assumption.

    After “The Day” and don’t forget, it will SNEAK UP on you, not only are you NOT “God,” you’re seemingly The Devil. She locks her door at night and wants to choose everything herself. You rarely LIKE what she chooses and this starts friction. But you figure it’s just her “spreading her wings” so you comfort yourself by thinking how “cute she is TRYING to be all grown up.” She starts talking to boys on the phone….which is alright, you guess – after all, YOU did it at her age. But then you discover that she’s talking on the phone into the wee hours of the morning. Mama always told ME nothing GOOD ever happens AFTER 10:00 p.m. I think Mama knew a thing or two about raising children.

    So you find yourself going into her room when she’s at school, or at a sleep-over, sorting through her things, smelling her clothes and longing for that little girl. You have pictures of her on every surface throughout the house….school pictures of every phase of her life, family photos, birthday pictures….but that child, frozen in time in those pictures — no longer exists. You grieve.

    Then she meets THE BOY. Not just any boy, because she’s met many of them and they’ve been cute, polite, adorable and you’ve sent her off on dates reminiscing in your own mind of YOUR youth. But THIS BOY is different. You SENSE it. Your “Mommy senses are tingling.” You can sniff him out. HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

    This Boy doesn’t try to impress you — why DOESN’T he? He acts as if he doesn’t HAVE TO!! Doesn’t he? I mean HAVE TO? If he wants MY DAUGHTER, he needs to IMPRESS ME! But the fact that he DOESN’T impress you seems even MORE the reason SHE IS impressed by him. You don’t trust this character. He is obviously “after” your daughter. And you will have NONE OF IT! So you forbid her from seeing him and THAT’S THAT. Or so you think. Meanwhile, you introduce her to other boys who you’ve taken a liking to and she rolls her eyes, virtually yawning in your face. These are PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE BOYS, you think…and say…but to no avail. It “seems” she would rather NOT date at all than to NOT be with THAT BOY! So you figure she’ll get over him with time. Weeks, even months go by when The Boy is not in her life. She doesn’t seem depressed by the fact – which gives you encouragement. But she’s not sharing details of her life with you either, so that’s not a good sign. Then it HAPPENS! You hear a noise downstairs late at night and go to investigate only to find The Boy standing in your “little girl’s” room! You are then told by her, in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, that she has NEVER STOPPED seeing him….she’s just HIDDEN him from YOU!! You’re ANGEL??? Your precious little baby girl who thought you were “God????” You feel faint. “Someone, call 911….call the Fire Department….Call the National Guard!!!! Something HAS TO BE DONE!! This BOY has PLANTED himself in the “garden of your daughter’s precious, delicate sweetness” and she’s TARNISHED! He has her CONFUSED. She says she LOVES HIM! LOVES HIM?? What does SHE know about LOVE?? I love HER…she loves ME….now THAT’S LOVE!! This…this….this whatever-it-is is some crazy school-girl infatuation.

    To make a long story short….THAT BOY has been my son-in-law for 13 years now. Yep…BELIEVE IT! My “little girl” and he have the MOST gorgeous sons…MY GRANDSONS. And you know what else? He LOVES HER and she LOVES HIM!

    No more Strawberry Shortcake stuff…..no. But the night I got to be with my daughter and THAT BOY…now a Man, while she had MY first grandchild….their son….I smelled that smell again. Baby Magic lotion. I held a bundle of wriggling, olive-complected, black-haired “love” that I had 20 years prior when MY little girl was born. And I cried. Not grieving this time. Tears of joy.

    My daughter and I don’t share baths anymore (obviously), I don’t brush her hair or put my perfume on her. But we do share stories of Motherhood that only a Mother and Daughter can. We understand each other. She has become me in many ways….the mantle has been passed. It wasn’t HER fault she grew up….or fell in love…it’s Life….a 4-letter word. Something hard for Moms to understand MOST of the time. But now, she faces some of the same things I did as a Mom. She wonders how much to hold on and how much to let go. And I love her for just being her. Not because she was the most beautiful baby who smelled so sweet, or looked at me with blue eyes that could melt any mother’s heart – but because of the person she is. That little baby I had back in 1978 wasn’t JUST a baby….she was a little person. That’s a little hard for a Mother to accept. But what choice do we have?

    And THAT BOY is like a son to me now. He is the father of THE MOST WONDERFUL AND GORGEOUS grandsons any Mimi could ask for. I’ve almost forgiven him for sneaking into my “baby’s” bedroom window….ALMOST!

    So, for all you Moms with daughters, when they bring home The Boy (if you’re LUCKY enough for them to BRING him to meet you), try to be on your best behavior. Maybe it is YOU who needs to impress HIM.

    I leave you with the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”

  6. Have been having a few of these moments over the past year. I looked at apartments on my own (after living fully out of home for 7 years and partially for 11) and my parents got annoyed I didn’t ask them to help (I have always lived far away from them until now, so never had or needed help). I ran a residential school for 35 year 9 students. Even though one cranky little teenage darling said ‘You’re not like the other supervisor – YOU understand, THEY don’t remember what it’s like to be a teenager’ it still felt weird!!! I didn’t feel that much older than them but they were all literally half my age…

    Still can’t stop myself from attempts to buy ALL THE CHIPPIES in the supermarket though 😉

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