In life there are many events that create turning points for us. Those ones that really hit home are from our childhoods. The moment you ask your parents about Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. The truth arrives, the magic leaves our hearts and logic takes over.
But one moment is in our control. Sort of. Perhaps it’s peer pressure that forces us to change. But it is still a choice we all make. That moment?
The last time you go trick or treating.
This one hits hard because when it happens, it just happens. One year you’re dressed up and out collecting candy with friends. The next year you have one (or more) friends saying something along the lines of it being silly or immature. Then your other friends go along with it. As Halloween comes and goes you realize that your last Halloween was YOUR LAST HALLOWEEN.
That moment is when you grow up because of society. And in a way it’s also your choice. You could’ve easily gone door to door in a costume. Maybe you’d hear comments like, “Aren’t you a little old?” But that’s really for you to decide. Give in to peer pressure and save face? Or get out there and get treats? The choice was yours.
A little bit over a year ago, our oldest daughter got her Learner’s License. She has practiced driving a few times every week since then. Mostly driving my car because it is an automatic. She has also driven our 2003 Honda Element which is a manual transmission. We kept that vehicle because it has been extremely reliable and had we traded it in- we wouldn’t get much money for it. It’s also a safe vehicle for her to drive around in.
Today she went in to get her “N” to begin being a Novice Driver. She successfully passed the road exam. Now she will have more freedom to drive without mom and dad overseeing her every move. Just look at that teenage smile!
We insured the Honda Element today for a full year with her as the primary driver. The first thing she did for the car? Set her radio stations.
Having an L for the past year meant she wasn’t permitted to have music or the radio playing while she learned to drive.Earning an N gives her the opportunity to enjoy driving. She will be more independent now. I also gave her some training this evening on how to change the tire in case she ever gets a flat.
So there it is- another milestone in a young person’s life. It feels as if we just took off her training wheels yesterday. Exceptthat was a fight. She had no desire to learn how to ride a two wheel bike… but that’s a different story.
I mean, there’s more responsibilities and stuff. Bills, children, work, etc… But there’s also my own choices to be made. Like going to bed at 9pm on a Friday or not having to go to the latest film on opening weekend. I have finally felt like I’m not missing out any more.
Like most adults I know, once you reach a certain age, it’s about the down time. The quiet time you get to yourself and not have to interact with others. I enjoy raking leaves off the lawn or washing the car by myself. Or waking up early to go shopping before the crowds and using the self checkout minimizing human interactions. However, as you may have guessed if you’ve followed along with me for the past few months (or years), my favorite adult thing to do:
Naps. I love naps. I have shown up at people’s homes and asked if I could nap. I’ve been in car rides with friends and just closed my eyes for a brief snooze. If I disappear at home- chances are I am taking a nap, I have even done it during a party at our home.
Even if all of these things sound childish and selfish, they are fully acceptable to do as an adult. I am glad to have reached adulthood. Now, I’m going to do some yard work alone and find a quiet place to take a nap later on.
I walk the line between adulthood and immaturity on a regular basis. I’m currently in our theater room, sitting in a beanbag chair writing. Today I washed our new dishes and put up new curtains. Later I’ll be playing videogames and joking with our kids.
Until recently at work, I was often a goofball. I’m not saying that’s going to change, but certain aspects will. No more crazy colors for my hair. No more graphic t-shirts. Time for dress pants and golf shirts. I’m sure I’ll be able to sneak a bit of my nerdiness in. My job title has changed, but who I am has not. There are certain expectations at work that I need to meet. I’m ok with that.
Parenting is another aspect of my life that I sway between being a kid at heart and acting all growed up. I’d like to think that I’m a good parent to our children by encouraging them at school and in their interests as well as setting rules and regulations in our home that they need to follow. On the other hand, I enjoy playing and goofing off with them. We joke and have a great time together as friends. That’s a bond I don’t feel I had with my parents as much growing up.
Of course I have bills that I need to pay. But there’s also a little bit of money set aside for fun. Disneyland trips, Star Wars toys, videogames, movies, etc…
I’m savoring life by keeping a healthy balance between responsibilities and being carefree. I think everyone else should as well.