When I was younger I was certain that there was some point, perhaps around age twenty five, where we (humans) transformed into adults. Something of an emergence into understanding. I don't really think I gave that notion enough consideration for it to crystallize, but I was just certain that when I was an adult things would all make sense.
Well, twenty five came and went and there was no moment where I shrugged off the cocoon of childhood to emerge as a full-fledged adult. Of course the "adults" that I knew claimed that they never felt like adults, but I just imagined that was some nonsense that they said to make non-adults feel better.
Later I was certain that it would be parenthood that would make me feel like an adult. However, when they let me leave the hospital with Cordelia I couldn't have felt less like an adult. I couldn't rationalize the fact that trained professionals were under the impression that I was adult enough to care for this tiny helpless babe.
I have continued to reach milestones that I have always equated with adulthood: teaching, home-ownership, a higher education. Yet, still I continue to feel like I am grasping at straws, adulthood eludes me.
Then the other day as I was scolding Cordelia for throwing her juice on the floor she laughed at me as I gave my best impression of a serious adult. I thought to myself, geez even the kid doesn't take me seriously. I kind of shrugged my shoulders and went onward, realizing that there is no true point at which I will feel like an adult.I continued to ponder just what I had even expected from adulthood and I realized that the myth of adulthood is something children create to give themselves hope that there will come a time when things make sense.
Finally, last night Cordelia awoke from a bad dream. I picked her up as she gave me a tearful hug. I whispered to her that everything was going to be OK. She sighed and fell back to sleep, comforted by one of the adults in her life. So, I am not sure that I will ever believe that I have grown up, but my kid thinks so and I suppose that is plenty for me.
Do you feel like an adult?