Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Touch of Gray

A radio host this morning was talking about moments in life when his listeners realized they were adults. He invited callers to tell of those times. It got me thinking, so here are some of mine...

1. Age 23, when I got my own apartment. Now I'm not talking about the one I shared with Garrick; who would have called us "adults" then? Come on, we built a two-tv entertainment center specifically because Beavis and Butthead showed simultaneously with Hee-Haw! No; I'm talking about the one I rented in Rogers Park. I'd bought my own car, I started a new job, I began volunteering at Asian Youth Services in Uptown and in the Evanston First Presbyterian Church youth ministry... as an adult.

2. Age 32, when Jonathan was born. Well, once I had recovered on the sleep enough to realize anything at all, it was another realization that I was really an adult. It is even moreso when I stop to think that when we go out, we usually look for kid-friendly events, even if we're not so excited about them. We had a ball at the Maria Stein Country Fest, and what did we do? Well, Jonathan rode the little car around and around (with a pretty girl, no less), and both boys loved seeing and petting animals, and then there was this inflatable man (one of those with the wavy arms) that some guy kept pushing down for the kids to grab at... this was my highlight. Yeah, I'm an adult.

3. Age 35, when I realized that I relate better to teenagers' parents than to the teenagers themselves. Our stories and experiences are more similar. It's not that I don't relate to teenagers anymore, but for the most part, I find myself hanging out more naturally with their parents. This goes along with the fact that I've found myself considering anyone under 50 to be "young." Yeah, when did that happen?

4. Also age 35, when my hair received its first "touch of gray" in it. No, Tim, not from that pesky barber's scissors, either. There was something about it getting thinner (a famous philosopher once asked "Who wants fat hair?"), but when it started getting gray... now I must be an adult.

So, when was it that you realized that you were an adult?


Todd M said...

Wow. Good question. On my "better" days, not sure if I am an adult even now. Here are some milestones though ...

Age 21 ... Bought first car.
Age 21 ... First business trip.
Age 24 ... Got married.
Age 34 ... Birth of son.
Age 40 ... Mother in law passed away

little david said...

Age 23--went to Europe with my wife for the first time. We really learned to depend on each other. (I found you through Patti's blog.)

John said...

I suppose when I was 28 and I had a really abusive boss. I'd normally be inclined to quit, but I was married. My life wasn't just mine anymore, but something that I shared. I couldn't just walk away because it would impact more than just me.

Anonymous said...

Here are some ...

age 28 - got married
age 29 - first baby girl
age 30 - second baby girl - now we're a family!
age 31 - move out of starter house into "real" house

it seems like something is happening with regularity to remind me of my connection to other people ... it helps me release the self-absorption of my younger years when I was less attached ... when your own fate is intertwined with a child's, you realize the enormity of your responsibility and the pettiness of your former concerns becomes evident