Wednesday, February 17, 2010


At 32, it should come as no surprise to me that I'm an adult. I remember the first time I started feeling like an adult - I had newly arrived in Boston for college, without visiting beforehand. I had no trepidation, just excitement. I have a distinct early memory of being alone in the city, and thinking 'wow, i could just buy a huge bag of candy right now, and eat it all, and no one will say anything'. Luckily, I've grown to use my adult independence for more lofty goals than eating entire bags of Skittles.

But sometimes it hits me. I can do anything! I can stay up all night! I can wear pajamas all day! I could get a puppy! There's nothing stopping me from climbing that tree! I just love that feeling of permissionlessness... and yes, I'm allowed to make up whatever word I need. There are social protocols I've learned well, and I know I'll probably injure myself climbing a tree, and I'm married to a man whose needs I value as much as my own, and I care deeply about others' reactions to my choices. But there's still an immense adult freedom I'm valuing all over again. I think it is because I'm spending a good part of the day teaching kids about cause and effect, actions and consequences, and developing behavior charts on neon posterboard. Teaching about how parents own everything, and children earn privileges to use it. As much as I know it's for their own good, my heart goes out to them. It's tough being a kid. Especially around two and three, I think. You're realizing all this stuff you can do and get... finding your words to express it...and everyone around you is saying a bigger no than you are.

I've also been having other moments that make me feel like an adult. Not in a soaring freedom kind of way, but in an, omg, I am getting OLD kinda way. Like how I still can't bring myself to ever text 'omg', because I feel like I'll be called out on it. I am aghast at how children dress nowadays. And how the kids I work with have this vocabulary and lists of favorite things that aren't vaguely familiar to me (What? Is that on tv, or a video game? Say that again? Can you spell that for me?). And then yesterday. I went to the public library to get a book. It wasn't available but said 'title available through audio download'. I had no idea what that meant, so I went to the reference desk. The librarian walked me through an online service they have, in which you put in your library card number and pin, and you can download audio books. You can download them right to your computer, to your iPod, or burn them to a CD. I was wide-eyed and thrilled. I finished talking to him, looked at the people standing in line behind me, and announced, Oh my goodness, the technology they have these days!

1 comment:

  1. wait until you're a parent. the entire "holy shit. if she falls down the stairs, i'm going to be responsible" aspect is ... different ... than other types of responsibility.



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