Saturday, August 22, 2009
So the Sunday Scribblings topic today is "Adult". When are you an adult?
Well, that's a relevant topic for me. I just sent my son off to his first, full-time job, teaching music to elementary children, and when he comes home he regales us with tales of his tactics. (This week he serenaded his students with O Sole Mio on the accordion) My second daughter is doing interviews for work and considering possibilities far removed from here, making pottery or working in a museum, and my oldest is enjoying a little quiet at home, working on that novel, now that the grandkids are in morning pre-school and kindergarten. Yes. They are all quite grown up.
Yet, as they were visiting today, laughing and lounging around the house, enjoying the children and the general bustle of life, even playing Mancala, it didn't seem like I was sitting in a room full of stodgy, old adults. We were all just kids. Occasionally though we had to grow up: Carina tending little ones; me, cooking, washing, picking up after; Turtle putting finishing touches on his sermon, and on the edges of the front lawn; Elijah and his visiting girlfriend cleaning out the car for a trip to the fair, where he has a music gig; and Claye sorting clothes and cataloging paints. Now that they are all gone for a few hours I should really be acting more mature. There are dishes on the counter; the floor needs mopping, and the carpet could stand a vacuuming, but I'm blogging--because being an adult can be tedious.
Oh I know it means freedom--making all the decisions for yourself: what time to go to sleep or get up; what groceries to buy at the store, and which of those to eat and which to let rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator; what kind of clothes to wear; what kind of people to befriend; which church to attend. It's heady and thrilling. But that's not all.
Being an adult means doing things that need doing--before someone asks you to do them. It means taking the blame for your own mistakes instead of blaming everyone around or every circumstance. It means looking at the consequences and plodding along--working, working, even when it's not fun. That's not something you just grow into. It's more like a mantle that gets thrown onto your shoulders. Sometimes you wear it like a royal robe; sometimes you spread it on the floor, get down on your knees and play Mancala with the grand children.
So I wonder sometimes...am I all grown up yet?