Unfortunately, having children does not make people grow up. Yes, my life has changed and improved ten fold since I became a mother but I know that some of this change has just come from 5 years of growing up. Although I’ve always been perceived as mature for my age, this past year I’ve noticed myself becoming a little more patient, a little more willing to believe that I’m not always right, and a little more open to accepting things that I can’t change (ie. Josh’s never ending need to throw his dirty socks on the bedroom floor and not in the hamper.) The funny thing is that while I feel more emotionally mature, I still can’t believe that I’ll be 26 this year. To me, 26 is the beginning of old. 26 is the start of the late 20’s. 26 is closer to 30 than any other decade. And while I truly do not fear turning 30 (actually I can’t wait – I think 30 makes people take you more seriously and respect you a little more – although this could just be my 25 year old naivete speaking), I still feel like I’m 14. 14 was the age that I started feeling like somewhat of a grown up. I know that sounds ridiculous because 14 year olds are most definitely not grown ups , but I think that’s when I left the little girl stage and for that, it just sits in my mind as my first age of maturity. Like my 14 year old self, I’m a dork. I still laugh when people fall (as long as they’re not hurt of course), I still would rather eat Swedish Fish than any other food and I still get GIDDY when I get to ride a roller coaster or go to a water park. I would still rather just throw my hair in a ponytail than put on make up and I have a MAJOR CRUSH on a certain vegetarian vampire. Maybe all of this is why I’m still with the guy I started dating when I was 14.
The definition of being a grown up confuses me and actually even makes me insecure. Am I doing it right? Is it a good thing that I’m not all that much different than I was 11 years ago? How will my maturity level (or other people’s perception of my maturity) effect the boys? I do try to fake being a grown up though. I once read that the first sign of being an adult is not being able to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. I make sure to do my dishes every night. I also ban MTV and VH1 from my television (although I can’t help the somewhat grown up version, BRAVO). And I’m working on not being late – although I know plenty of grownups who are never on time. Hopefully I’m at least doing a good job of pretending. Although, I don’t think the boys will mind too much when I’m right alongside them cannonballing into the swimming pool.
At least not until they’re 14.
We hit a grown up milestone today. We bought our first minivan.