On Feeling Like an Adult

Last weekend, I slept over at my parents house. Both of my sisters were there. It was the original 5 of us (3 sisters + Mom and Dad) and I loved every moment. Sleepovers like this hardly ever happen anymore now that I’m married, Kimberly lives in Manhattan and Christine is away at school for most of the year. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time this happened.

Shaun had a company retreat on Saturday and Sunday (yes, directly after I returned home to him from 5 days in Las Vegas!), so it was the perfect opportunity to get some family QT. We food shopped, prepped for our Father’s Day BBQ, went in the hot tub with glasses of wine in hand. I crashed my sister’s bed since my old one was in use by my cousin. I loved it.

I adore my life with my husband. He is my best friend and the love of my life. I wouldn’t change one bit of our life together for anything. But once in a while, it’s nice to feel like a kid again.

To have Mom make you dinner (and order you around in the kitchen). To hear Dad working in his office or making another container of whipped cream. To be silly and ridiculous with my sisters in the middle of the night (this may or may not include a serious and lengthy discussion and debate on our favorite packaged dessert while all crammed into Christine’s bed - I had a tough time deciding between Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and TastyKakes Butterscotch Krimpets...ahh childhood). Hearing Chloe barking to go outside at an ungodly hour...and pretending to be asleep and aloof to this going on. To be woken up by Mom standing in the doorway asking, “don’t you think it’s time you got up?” with a cup of tea in her hand.

As we were hanging in the hot tub (no music videos being made!), we all got to talking about being an adult and actually feeling like an adult. The two don’t necessarily coincide, do they?

In a few weeks, I’ll turn 29. Heck, I’m pushing 30. I’m married. I own a home. Shaun and I talk about having kids. All signs point to being a grown-up. I can take care of myself, after all. I pay my bills, clean my house, make dinner every night, make sure candles are blown out before bedtime, that we’re not wasting energy (or major moola) during the day by leaving our air conditioner or heat on. But do I necessary feel like an adult?

I can’t say that I do. Growing up, it’s assumed that Mom and Dad have all the answers (I still feel like they do). That they are adults. They must feel grown-up, no? They are much older than us, right? That switch must have turned on at some point and they turned the elusive corner from feeling like a kid and feeling like a grown-up. So I wondered when I might feel it. When I turn 30? 40? 50? 80? When I have my first child? When I’ve weathered a major storm (something I’m so thankful that I have not had to do yet in my life)?

When I asked my parents when they started feeling like adults, I’m not so sure that they do yet either. Mom said that losing your parents makes you feel like more of an adult - she lost both of hers by the time she was just about my age, a tragedy that I cannot even fathom, let alone understand.

Though I’m certainly not chasing that ‘adult’ feeling, my curiosity is piqued. Perhaps we never cross that bridge into real adulthood. Isn’t it that whole young at heart thing? Perhaps I’m on the verge of yet another meltdown over my age and how time seems to fly faster and faster as the years pass. Or perhaps all of these daily bits and responsibilities is actually that grown-up feeling.

What do you think? Have you crossed that threshold into feeling like an adult?