Sunday, July 19, 2015

Partial Adulthood

Today I was standing in a mercifully short line in the deli watching my neighbor, D. He's about 6 and he was waiting for his mother to check out, feeling the oscillating fan on his sweaty face. As she loaded their fruit salad supplies into her shopping bag he turned, spied something, pointed and cried out to his mom. "I already bought everything, D, I'll get it later." Then they started out and he touched the disgusting garbage can with both hands and she good naturedly shuffled him out of the building.

It got me thinking about being an adult.  Kids say so often, "I can't wait until I'm grown up!" I did. I'm sure you did, too. Everyone I know did or does. We adults nod sagely and say, "Just you wait." It's kind of mean.

Before I saw D and his mom I peeled my sweaty self off the couch to feed another neighbor's cats. Very adult of me. I remembered to bring my wallet because I wanted to treat myself to something for lunch. That was also a pretty grown up move.

Once the cats were cared for I walked down the block thinking about what would taste good. That was the only criteria in the decision. I settled on deli sushi even though I was walking the long way but it didn't matter. Before I saw D I picked out my sushi and checked out the ice cream selection. They didn't have any of my favorite flavors. I could have just gone home but right across the street is a deli that almost always has my favorites. I jaywalked because I know right from wrong but I'm an adult and I can decide how I deploy that knowledge. Paid for my favorite flavor, walked home, ate my sushi, took a nap, ate some ice cream.

That's what kids mean. That snippet of my day encompasses all the great things about being an adult. I make my own choices and I don't have to consult anyone on them. There's a little ice cream left. If I wake up tomorrow and decide to have it for breakfast no one can stop me.

All of us adults know that basic vision isn't the whole picture. The rest of my day covered many of the less enticing aspects of grownupedness. For that brief run, though, I thought, "You're right, kid, you're gonna love it."


  1. A good reminder that there are benefits to being an adult that often get taken for granted.

  2. well said, so true. every age has it's sweet spots, yes? it feels like every time i start regretting the fading/loss of something in my life or abilities, something else equally alluring is coming into focus.