Monday, August 19, 2013

To be a grownup

Me as a toddler, with my mom on the beach.

I remember sitting at the dinner table, watching my dad crush a cracker into his soup with one hand. "If only I could do that, just like a grownup!" I thought to myself. I wanted to whistle, to snap my fingers. I wanted to write beautifully and read grownups' books and sign checks. I wanted to cook and use everything in the kitchen by myself. I wanted mail to come with my name on it. I wanted to get married and be a mother.

There were plenty of grownup things I shied away from - I hated answering the phone (I've gotten over that) and I didn't relish the thought of being in the dark by myself. I didn't want to make phone calls either. Nor did I want to navigate the spooky outhouses at the beach on my own, where surely dwelled the most dangerous of...well, whatever lives at the bottom of an outhouse.

Life has changed quite a bit since I formed my grownup aspirations. People don't write letters much anymore, and checks are fast becoming a thing of the past. I never envisioned reading grownup books on a tablet - but I do, and I love it - and I couldn't have imagined a day where cooking would be seen as optional. I learned to whistle and snap my fingers, and while my kids find both very amusing, I don't feel like a big shot every time I do one or the other. I could probably crush a cracker one-handed into my soup - except that I don't like crackers in my soup, as it turns out. Sorry, Shirley Temple.

On the other hand, my husband commented yesterday on my remarkable knack for using everything in the kitchen when I cook. I love being married, and I love being a mother. I like writing checks more than the average twenty-something (hello, Dave Ramsey budgeting!) and I pride myself on my handwriting. I find lots of mail with my name on it.

I suppose, crushed crackers in my soup or not, I've arrived as a grownup.

...I think I like it.