Nostalgia has the tendency to bring you back to “that time when” instantly. It could be driving home to your parents’ house, hearing a favorite song from high school, or flipping through old pictures (thanks, Facebook, for showing me every bad hair day I had from elementary school on up). These bouts of memories and flashbacks make you feel youthful. But when do you actually feel like an adult? I’m still waiting.
I thought it might happen when I graduated college. The freedom of being done with school and no longer oweing my parents for my education was an amazing feeling. Didn’t happen. Then, when I got my apartment with my now husband, I figured, okay, truly out on my own. Relying on myself should be an adult-type boost. Nope. When my husband and I bought our first house, had two kids, and then bought our current home, I figured, okay, now the adult, mommy-like feelings will happen. Still nothing. I always think that when I say one of my mother’s sayings (and I can’t believe I am doing it) or when I pay a bill or worry about money that the feeling will come. Yet, it doesn’t. How weird is that?
When I talked to my mom about it, I remember asking her when she truly felt like a mom. “Wasn’t it weird to think that you had kids?” We had this conversation around the time that I had my first child, and I was also talking about how she felt about being a grandma again. To this she responded how it blew her mind that I had a kid (being the youngest I think was really super weird for her), when she couldn’t even get over that I was her kid and that she was a mom, let alone a grandmother now four times over. Hearing her say that was so strange. It didn’t really sink in until much later, as I was so caught up in being a new mom. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I would ever have any adult-feeling happen. If my own mom was a grandmother and still didn’t think about the fact that she was a mom for real, then I most likely would NEVER feel like an adult.
So once I finally realized that I would not ever feel truly grown up, and considering my mother never did either, I suppose I realized then that it was totally normal. Paying bills, having kids, owning a home, none of it made me feel “bigger” than I was. We go through life waiting to grow up, be bigger, have independence, and yet, we never truly feel older. Well, okay, I feel older, but I don’t feel grown up. I don’t feel like an adult. Sometimes when my kids say “mommy” I still turn to look for who they are speaking to, waiting for my own mom to appear. In addition to this, I start to wonder, is it necessary to feel like an adult, or is it just the ingrained and repeated use of phrases like, “you’ll understand when you grow up” that make us THINK we have to feel adult at some point. Maybe I shouldn’t feel more adult than I already am. I guess I’ll just sit back, let the youthfulness wash over me, and enjoy just being me. Even if I never get the adult feeling I expected would come with age, I guess I’ll just have to enjoy who I am, whatever that might be.