I saw this picture on a friend’s Facebook page the other day. I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep or being around small children for too long, but I had to re-read it a few times to get it. As a teacher, the use of the word “adult” as a verb threw me off. But once I (finally) got it, I laughed out loud. I also had to admit to myself that I was on the same page as that dog. It’s been a rough week. I’ve actually been working on this post for most of it, but haven’t had much time that I wasn’t holding Audrey. I will not complain about the lack of sleep (there’s been a lot) or the crankiness (lots of that too), but it’s ironic that as soon as I’m pretty much feeling back to my normal self, Audrey takes a turn into first tooth/first illness-ville. I’ve written about her great sleeping habits. I probably shouldn’t have.
So back to not wanting to “adult.” This made me think about when I first felt like an adult. Technically, you become an adult when you turn 18. I don’t know about you, but I did not feel like an adult then. My parents were helping me through college and although I was on my own, I still relied heavily on them for everything. I also didn’t quite act like an adult. I didn’t graduate college with a great job and my own place; I moved back home and worked several random part time jobs. I think it was when I finally moved out into an apartment, got a “real job” and bought my first car that I felt like an adult. But looking back, I still don’t think that’s when I crossed over from childhood.
So when did it happen? When I bought a house? Got married? Had babies? Not quite. For me, I think it happened this week. I was driving the kids around so Aiden would fall asleep and Audrey would stop crying (no shame in that, by the way). I was drinking coffee and listening to Warm 98. Sounds pretty adult to me. It wasn’t the soft rock music or the Starbucks though. I had an overwhelming mixture of feelings – responsibility, love, worry and excitement. I also had the desire to go back to being a kid, just for a minute (or maybe an hour). Of course the immediate reaction was guilt; moms are known for that. Why would I want to leave my babies and wonderful life now to go back to childhood? I’m not allowed to feel that way when I have all I’ve ever hoped for. But I think that’s what makes you an adult. The realization that your life is full of responsibility, love and excitement, but there was a road travelled to get there. And it’s okay to want to be back in time and feel childlike again. It’s okay to not want to “adult” for a while. To leave worries behind and have your biggest concern be whether or not you’re going to get a new toy.
The ironic part to this? Anytime I’ve gotten this break in reality, all I’ve wanted is to dive back in. The 5 days in the hospital, where I literally could just lie there, were spent wanting to be back to changing diapers, soothing crying babies and paying bills. The grass is always greener, indeed. I think the best way to make it through is to act like an adult, but feel like a child. Be responsible, mature and caring but also playful, carefree and love unconditionally. I’ll try and remember that as I adult through my life.
Working on Audrey’s 6-month post and a health update…get excited :). Have a wonderful (warmer!) weekend!