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.

45 comments:

  1. Beautifully put. It's odd.... I'm 30 years old doing all these 30 year old adult-type things but I still feel like that 16 year old girl.... it takes me a minute to take in that 16 was almost 15 years ago! That I'm a wife with a two year old to raise and not that 16 year old girl begging her mom for a tattoo anymore just boggles my mind.

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  2. Thank you for writing this article, I'm just 17 but I'm definitely an "old soul." It amazes me that I'm in my last year of secondary school. Your blog has helped me to realise that I need to appreciate the age that I am now and take it all in, because it'll go by quicker than I think.

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  3. I love this post, so much. I feel the exact same way and my husband and I often talk about it. All of it. My grandmother, at 88, says that she still feels like she's in her early 20's on the inside, but her, "damn old body" keeps reminding her that she's not. I like the idea of still feeling young, even when you're "old". To stay young at heart. :)

    Thanks for the great post!

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  4. Danielle, you have such a way with putting things like this into words. I think even if I couldn't relate to most of your blog I would still read it just because you write out fleeting thoughts, feelings, and sentiments so well. I get hit with this feeling a lot, the 'how did this happen, I'm an adult?" feeling. I'm 22, married, with a little girl a few months younger than Henry and I catch myself thinking all the time, "I just met my husband, how is it that we're all of a sudden married, and responsible for this tiny, amazing little person?" It goes by so fast! I really hope we still feel the same wonder and awe over our lives when we're 80, it sure seems like we will. Thank you for this post. <3

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  5. Thank you for sharing this Danielle... I am only 20 and finishing up my undergrad, but sometimes I find myself doing things that my mom does, or would do, and I find myself thinking how it's so strange your mindset can change in such little time.

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  6. It's so very true. I feel the exact same way. I've been 30 for a few months now and I cannot believe it. I definitely still feel 16, but I'm an adult. Things definitely hit me sometimes and cause me to remember that I AM an adult and then I think "how did that happen!?" Some days I feel too young to be an adult. And some days I look back on my younger days and feel like I've gained wisdom and maturity without even noticing. It's a neat feeling.

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  7. Here's one that totally freaked me out: The other day my HUSBAND said I sounded like my mom when I was talking to our daughter. And the reality sunk in that when I was my daughter's age, my mom was 10 years younger than I am now. Still following me? Mind = blown.

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  8. I feel the same way. I'm 32 now and have been through so much already, yet, I feel like I am not that grown up! Or maybe that I shouldn't be that grown up. :) Time flies away faster than we can catch it.

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  9. "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..."

    Damn! That sounds like some lyrics right there. Beautiful post. I have the same feelings with my 5-year-old dude every day.

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  10. I'm 24, but I think a lot of the same thing everyday. Life goes so so fast. It is a great thing it is so amazing though.

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  11. i love this post so much, dani. i have been thinking about this a lot lately - and you hit the nail right on the head with that last sentence: "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." amen!

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  12. You so eloquently summed up the bizarre feeling of transitioning from young adulthood, with a million possibilities in front of you, to being an established adult, where many of the previous possibilities are either a reality or just no longer an option. You're right, it will never cease to be totally, completely weird. ; )

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  13. I have those moments ALL THE TIME. I can't believe I'm 30 either...you have a lot more to show for it...LOL...you are blessed fo' shizzle ma nizzle.

    Cheers,
    Messy

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  14. I've been having moments like this a lot lately. At 25 I feel like I should still be 16. Sometimes it's weird to realize I have my own house and car and money and kids and a husband and I'm just so grown up now it's crazy.

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  15. You really captured what that feeling is! I've had these types of realizations in the last year or so - how this is what it is to be grown up and that I don't know if I'll ever really feel how I thought adults felt when I wasn't one. Growing up my mom would always say to me, "I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up!" In the last year I finally understood that she wasn't just trying to sound silly, she just felt as if she still wasn't really a grown up. :)

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  16. i somehow just found this: http://daniellehampton.bandcamp.com/track/one-day

    with your picture, but i don't think it's you singing, or else i would've seen this here.

    just wondering.

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  17. This is a great post. I feel like this more and more lately. I'm 25 and my husband and I are talking about when we want kids. We are thinking in about a year and a half. And I'm like "wow. me a mom!?" I feel like I'm still too young to be a mom, but at the same time I'm ready. I also am married! Wow! Married! I don't know why that shocks me, but it still does. I guess such is life.

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  18. This is Wonderful! I feel the same way!

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  19. Beautifully put. I just turned twenty not too long ago and am already having those, "What?! twenty already!?" thoughts! glad I'm not alone!! :)
    Heather
    thenyouwereperfect.blogspot.com

    (loveeee each and every post of yours, always btw! <3)

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  20. Oh my gosh. You are writing my thoughts exactly. Thank God I am not the only one :) This growing up fast business is no joke. I think motherhood really smacks you in the face with it more than anything. Here's to enjoying the journey though!

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  21. You took the words right out of my mouth! These thoughts are constantly smacking me in the face.

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  22. danielle. i wrote in my notebook once: it's the oldest story in the wirld. one day you are 20&something and you are planning for someday. and then quietly, without you're ever nociting somday is today. and then someday is yesterday. and this is your life.
    // my students asked me yesterday "miss, how old are you?" - and i replied "24" .. and inside i was wondering about that number. 24. really? my mum had a baby (me) with 24. and me? i don't know. sometimes i just feel like i stuck in the age 18 to 22.
    i'm glad about my age. my experiences. the girl i got through all this (sometimes difficult) last years. but i'm afraid to get older. to miss things. a little bit. but i also can't wait. for all the little moments life is holding for us.

    lovely greetings from austria, europe.
    stef

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  23. Ok, do you watch a TV show and relate to the mom or the high school/college age daughter? I never relate to the mom, because she's the mom. I'm more like the kid - but in fact - I may be older at my 33 than the mom on the TV show. Holy Crap.

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  24. THIS! I am 27, married, two kids, a mortgage and sometimes still think I'm 19. It is so weird yet I don't know how other adults feel.

    Also, apparently I'm already embarrasing my first grader. Nothing makes you feel older than that.

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  25. I feel like wow I'm already in college and getting an apartment and paying bills and wow! And i'm scared to death I'm going to wake up tomorrow and be balancing a child on my hip and calling a babysitter. Time is just flying by!!

    Amanda Rose
    http://sewmuchtosay.blogspot.com

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  26. i just turned 31 and feel weird even typing that

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  27. This post totally made my heart smile! I'm 32 and even though I don't have children yet, the idea to even THINK about it is so adult. I so not the same person I was when I was 25, or even 30 for that matter. How time passes. Thanks for the post!

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  28. That was an amazing post, I am not quite a parent yet but I am also 30 and have a great life and kind of had the same realization recently, I am an adult!! Thank you for your words!

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  29. Beautifully written. I am fast approaching my 30th birthday and while I don't feel "old" like many seem to complain about, I do feel this odd sense of being a real grown up. It's like I could still get away with a lot during my 20's... but after 30 there is no wiggle room! My mom says her 30's were the best time of her life, and I am hoping the same is true for me as I (hopefully) become a mother as well. Glad to know I'm not alone :)

    Strive to Thrive,
    Nic

    www.Thriving-Wives.com

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  30. You're not alone in that feeling, thank you for putting it so elegantly into words.

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  31. I think about this a lot, too. Especially when I'm cooking dinner for me and my kid. Something about pots bubbling, trying to keep two-year-old fingers out of dangerous places, asking her to set the table, that just feels like so grown up.
    Also, looking around, I now see people who, 7 years ago, would have appeared to be so GROWN UP to me, and now I think oy, they're probably younger than me.

    I dunno. Most of the time I still think I'm 22, and i wonder if I'll always feel like that. Watching a music video on youtube, lusting after youth spent and gone.

    Nothing has made me more aware of the passing of time than parenthood.

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  32. Yes times a thousand. You've perfectly captured my thoughts about life lately in this beautiful post. I'm a fan of all your posts, but this might be my favorite. Thanks for sharing!

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  33. Amazing post. Beautifully written.

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  34. Well said! I definitely have these moments as I'm now closer to 30 than 20. My fiance and I don't plan on having children, so I often wonder how we will feel regarding being adults. Having children seems like such a benchmark. I guess life is about the journey, not the destination.

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  35. I mirror everything you've said here. I have those exact same feelings. Excellent post!

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  36. This was an exceptionally beautiful post.

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  37. Amazing post, and well said. The same thing flashed into my mind just this morning. I am an adult, I make dinner every night for my husband. Such a strange feeling when you stop to think about it.

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  38. I exactly know what you are talking about and I am not 30 yet, but not too long. lol I wish we could just grab a coffee together one day. We both feel exactly the same way so many times... :) Happy for all of your honest posts!

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  39. You just captured so many of my "OMG I'm growing up" thoughts. And they're also usually preceded by "holy, holy, holy shit." I have more compassion for my parents and other adults feeling so much shock at kids growing up quickly. They all still see themselves as being young. Like you said, even more reason to appreciate the here and now.

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  40. This is such a beautiful sentiment and so beautifully written.

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  41. I still feel like this and I am 37. I just don't know how it happened. Life raced by and now my son is nearly 13. Crazy, crazy, this thing we call life.

    ~FringeGirl

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  42. This is beautiful. You have a way with words, my friend.

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    Call Girl Paris

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  45. I feel like you are feeling and saying everything that I'm going to feel and say when I'm your age.

    http://www.thingsilearnedgrowingup.com/

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