The landmarks for being a grown up are all messed up in my head. My 21st birthday was mixed with my college graduation and raising my 3 year old, my 18 birthday I was nearly 7 months pregnant, and my 16th birthday, instead of my license I got shipped across the country. It’s not a pity party for my lost youth, but I have never had that “and now I am a grown up” feeling until I turned 30. And I had three kids by that time! But being a collector of moments, I discovered lately that little things make me feel much more grown up than the those bigger landmarks ever did.
Recently we have put some time and effort into the interior of our house. For the first time in my ‘adult’ life I own a bedframe. I don’t just have a mattress on the floor. A real, honestly to goodness, cool looking wooden bedframe. For the first week we had it I couldn’t stop saying “I feel like such a grown-up!” And tonight… instead of my nightly organic dark chocolate from Theo I decided to try Dagoba milk chocolate instead. It was gross! Way too sweet and almost slick in texture. I now understand my dad saying over and over again “when you are a grown-up you may like dark chocolate” which was his favorite for as long as I can remember (I was born when he was about my age now, come to think of it). I couldn’t imagine ever liking that icky bitter stuff anymore than my children can imagine enjoying a square of my Theo now. But here I am, enjoying the pallet cleansing taste of 73% cacao with orange and almonds to wash away the sticky sweet of the (very good quality) milk chocolate.
I find that I can enjoy the things I missed in my younger years better now too. Ok… that made me sound REALLY old, but honestly. I was SUCH an uptight young mama. I was so worried that at any moment someone (anyone) would come and take my precious baby boy away from me and I would be left with a hole in my life forever. It made me a very organized person, for which I am grateful… but it also made it so there is a mental block between me and truly enjoying anything. I always have to be doing something productive. And when I wasn’t… when I was, say, watching a show on tv, or enjoying a bath, I would slowly feel guilt weasel it’s way into my heart and I would have to spend the rest of the day making up for the fact that I took an hour to relax. My parental rights were never in question. But even so, I always felt like taking time to enjoy myself would result in all my inhibitions disappearing overnight and the concept of complete meals, clean floors, and regular bedtimes would fly out of my head and I would be left a shell of a mother who was only after time for herself.
Fast forward 12 years:
Today I took a nice warm bath. I let the laundry pile up. Not for long. I am still OCD about having a clean house (esp now with the crawling baby in full on ‘search and destroy’ mode), but those moments are precious to me. I feel their lack when I don’t take them often enough and I understand their value.
Does that make me more of a grown up?
I have no idea.
I know that I like dark chocolate and I have a really nice bedframe.
Only grown-up’s do that right?