At what point does a person feel like an actual honest-to-goodness grown up? Is it when one graduates from high school or college? Is it when one gets a job, gets married, or becomes a parent? When does that transformation occur?
Because I have to say that there are still times when I do not feel like a Real Card Carrying Adult. There are on occasions that something will occur and I'll look around for someone else to handle it. Because me? I'm definitely not ready for it. This is a job for a real grown up, not me. This occurs frequently. I'll say to myself, "I am not qualified to do this." or "I am just a kid pretending to be an adult."
Like the time Graceful was almost two and she face-planted on a sidewalk and, as we heard her forehead hit the bricks, there was a moment when Pete and I were almost afraid to pick her up and and look at the damage. (She was fine.)
Or the time that a hurricane roared through town and, even though we live at the top of a hill, we had a river of water in our basement and it was an overwhelming mess.
Or the times -- yes, in the plural -- that a toilet overflowed and there was, um, dirty water every-fucking-where.
All those times, we really wanted a real adult to come in and deal with the situation. Take control. Make things right. Because we are not actual adults who are qualified to deal with this. We're just pretenders, even as we approach middle age.
When one is a child, our parents swoop in with their Super Adult capes and they save the day. A younger brother flushes an apple down the toilet, causing a Major Plumbing Incident? Mom or Dad will fix it! The cat vomits all over the new living room rug? Call Mom or Dad! Someone drops a bottle of ketchup and it shatters all over the place? That's a job for Mom or Dad!
As a child I knew my parents could handle any situation. They were wise and competent. It never occurred to me to think otherwise. Now I realize that at times they felt completely unprepared for this gig call Adulthood.
Now, for yesterday...
Graceful and her three friends were in the basement rec room. We have a lava lamp in there. Or, should I say, we HAD a lava lamp down there.
I heard a crash and four third graders said, "Uh oh." Then silence, while they considered the ramifications of what had just occurred. They came upstairs -- scared and pale -- and confessed. Luckily, no one was hurt. Thank goodness for that, because there's glass and wax and lava liquid all over the place.
After I sternly reminded the girls that they should not have been messing with anything breakable, I realized that SOMEONE was going to have to clean up the mess. Luckily, there were two SOMEONES in the house at the time, so I gathered Mr. Someone and we went downstairs to assess the damage.
Someone's going to have to take care of this.