I clearly remember being a kid, about 9 or 10, and standing next to my mum at the post office, thinking “I wonder what it feels like to be grown up like mum“. At that time, she would have been 35 or 36: pretty much my age now. So I ask myself now, “What DOES it feel like?“.
In truth, I have no idea.
I know I’m an adult. That’s indisputable. Mid thirties, pretty much divorced, (almost) teenage daughter – the facts are there. I’m definitely an adult.
But a grown up? I’m not so sure.
As a child I knew my parents were grown ups as they were responsible and dependable. They did everything they were supposed to, when they were supposed to. They bought a nice house, renovated it themselves, paid the bills on time, and looked after my brother and I. At the time I didn’t think so, but looking back I know I had it good.
As far back as I can remember, my parents were always grown up. Always a bit bogged down in the mundane parts of life that need to be dealt with.
My daughter thinks the same as I did as a child. Apparently I’m too old to listen to music that she likes, too old to wear Converse “They don’t make them for old people”, and too old to use certain words and phrases that she uses, like ‘I know right’, and ‘totes’.
If I compare myself now to my mum when I was a kid, I’m drastically different. I listen to music all the time, go to gigs, am happy going out on my own, often meet up with friends for a drink, and pursue my own interests. She never did any of them. So from that comparison I conclude that I can’t be grown up yet, as I’m still having too much fun.
But what I think is the crucial difference between me and my mum, the fact that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I haven’t grown up yet, is the fact that she never seemed to make mistakes. She always knew what to do at any given time. No crisis was too big, no problem couldn’t be solved.
Mistakes for me are commonplace. I stumble rather than sail through life, and it seems like I lurch from one crisis to the next. Now I wonder though; did my mum do that too, but just hide it from me? Her circumstances were different; she was happily married to my dad, whereas I am a single mum. So I guess I need to compare myself with people in the same boat as me.
Have none of us grown up?