Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hello, I'm an Adult.

Family Photos, November 2011

It's pretty amazing, isn't it? This whole growing up thing, even when you're already grown. It's weird to me to be 30. And a wife. And a mother. And to be walking around this little town with my friends and our strollers and our hot drinks in our hands and I think holy, holy, holy shit. How did I get here? It's a question I wonder about a lot. Lately I've been having all of these moments where I'm smacked right in the face with YOU'RE AN ADULT, DANIELLE! And it's weird because it's not like I don't know this and it's not like these moments are really monumental. It's the simple, everyday things that floor me, and really, I've been living on my own since I went away to college. This age didn't just sneak up on me. Hello, I'm closer to 40 than I am to being a kid- I've had some time to think about it.

But sometimes, like this morning, I'll be doing something, like ordering a bagel and cream cheese to split with Henry. And we'll go sit and I'll break it into two and I'll have that same odd realization that I'm doing the same things my mother did. Like somehow buying that bagel and splitting that bagel is so bizarrely parental and adult it is mind blowing. It's the simple things, grocery shopping and looking at the labels on this or that, sticking stamps on bills, or talking to a friend on the phone, Henry balanced on my hip as I glide around the kitchen multi-tasking. Or this past weekend when Hank and I went on a date. We had a babysitter come over to be there while Henry was asleep, and to me, THAT is adult. That's what my parents would do. They would call Karen Kowalski and she would come over, we'd get our snacks and open her backpack of crafts, and that was just how some of our Friday nights were. But now we're doing that? What?

I wonder then if this is just how it feels for some people. If maybe this is a part of growing up, the disbelief that we are in fact growing up. I think ahead to 40 and 50, wondering if I'll still feel the same way I did at 20 and 30, "how did this all happen so quickly?" in the front of my mind as I look back and all around at my life. Will I be sitting at the table on my 80th birthday, eyes crinkling into a deep smile, feeling 30 still and thinking about how fast the time went and how on earth is it even possible that I'm 80?! I wonder...

As we drove home from our date that night we cracked the windows just a bit to let in some of the cool Fall air. We turned up the stereo and sang along to Broadway Calls as we drove, the moon lit up like a Chinese lantern bobbing among the stars as we dipped up and down through the hills. We talked about all of it; about being parents and about having babies, about how weird it is to be talking about being parents and how weird it is to be talking about having more babies. We were 16, we were 25, we were just what we are, a Mom and a Dad driving home to tuck their little one back into bed at the end of the night. It all goes by so quickly doesn't it? I think the key is to just try and grab hold of anything you can, and tuck it away in a safe place, to pull out and remember when you need it. And I think it's okay to wonder where the time went, to feel strange at how you were there and now you're suddenly here, and to think holy, holy, holy shit- how did this happen? And I think if we still feel this way when we're 80, still feeling like we're so young and wondering how this wonderful life happened to us, I will look back on all of it and feel like we did it just right.

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