When you wake up and realize you're a grown-up.
In these never ending days of working hard and working hard to stay distracted I was browsing through one of my favorite magazines.
As I was flipping through the magazine looking for anything to think about I came across an article entitled "When did you realize you reached adulthood?" Attached to the article were smiling beautiful faces who because they made their first car payment, could get themselves up for work on time and didn't need parental approval for the "Dude of the Week" had reached adulthood.
Then there was the chick who said, "I can get a tattoo wherever I want."
(Hey, I never once said I was reading anything overly philosophical. )
While this article should've made me smile and put me fast asleep, instead it kept me up thinking, (like most things do these days) about when I truly reached adulthood.
With the exception of crazy tattoo lady, I've hit most of those milestones; been through those rights of passages. While I was ecstatic at the time I didn't think I was accomplishing some great feat deserving of a sticker on my Life Chart. Instead I was just merely taking the next step in life, doing what responsible people do.
Ask me when I became an adult? Go ahead, I'm not shy. C'mon....I'm waiting.....
Ok. I'll tell you. June 7th 2009. 9:32am.
That's right. I can pinpoint my entry into adulthood down to the day and time. I can also tell you what I was wearing as soon as my pregnancy brain clears if you really want me to. David could probably tell you what the weather was and what he should've been home doing.
I consider my entry into adulthood the day doctors told me my baby had unexplained complications and "they" couldn't tell me anything other than go home and wait for October. Doctors with years of medical expertise and $200,000 eight year Ivy League educations couldn't and wouldn't tell me anything more than "plan for the worst, hope for the best."
Back the train to Adulthood up here. Wait? What do you mean wait? Waiting is for children. Afterall, how many times do parents tell their little ones, "sit down and wait." "Just wait until you're an adult and realize how much things cost. "Just wait until you have children of your own." On and on. We were all children once, you know the drill. We were waiting for Santa Claus, our friends to come over, the rain to clear, mom to catch us in the mud puddles, birthday parties and well... how fun adulthood would be.
No one ever said that a $1000 doctor bill would only tell you to go home and wait. Hell, for $2.99 a minute Sylvia Brown and her tarrot cards could've told me that.
Turns out adulthood is about waiting as well. The difference between childhood and adulthood is how you handle the waiting. People look at whining grown-ups weird after all. Adulthood is realizing while you can't fix everything you can cope. Adulthood is knowing you can't conquer fear of the unknown until you get heaven, but you can do your best in the meantime.
I became an adult when I learned worry will kill you if you don't get out of bed and get to work. I became and adult when I realized you can laugh, cry, worry and smile at the same time.
Being and adult meant I could feel the way I feel without a guilty conscience. I became a grown-up when decisions regarding my baby were solely mine and David's and anyone else's judgement calls were the least of my concerns.
I entered adulthood when I discovered hope and intutition are the most powerful forces we have. Then there was the day I realized it was perfectly okay to be upset with God and at the same time pray a never ending stream of Glory Be's until I fell asleep.
Then there's the fact being an adult means I can eat zuchinni pancakes three days in a row and wash it down with mint ice cream if that's what gets me through today.
I can spend 20 minutes in the shower recovering from the world, feeling baby kicks, taking it as a sign things are more fine than I thought, without leaving my siblings a cold shower.
Being 27 and truly grown-up means admitting I want to skip prenatal classes not because of the time committment but rather other pregnant women and their joyous pregnancies make me feel robbed.
I became an adult the day I learned to plan for an uncertain future. I couldn't resist the clearance rack at Children's Place, put the crib together, found a diaper bag I loved and worked on paint colors for a room I'm not sure I'll ever get to use. I became a true blood grown-up the day I learned the meaning of "bittersweet."
I've entered adulthood in the last month, whether I wanted to or not.
So in response to the original magazine question, I'd have to say, "The day I realized life is complex; not something of which sense can be made. It's when I finally understood it's how you handle the complexity and waiting that makes you an adult. It's the freedom I felt the day I finally admitted some battles weren't meant to be fought, muchless alone."
By the way, gray track pants, red long sleeved t-shirt, green flip flops. 79 degrees. Should've been home cutting hay.