Despite reaching the ripe old age of 38 I must confess that it’s taken a long time for me to actually feel like a grown up, a fully fledged adult. As ridiculous as it sounds I’ve only recently realised that I’m not going to get asked for ID in the pub anymore, grey hair is becoming a very real possibility and I have a rather large mountain of responsibilities. It doesn’t exactly sound fun.
The Five Signs
Here are the five things that have confirmed to me that I have reached ‘official’ grown up status:-
I have three different types of flour in my cupboard and I use them all regularly. As Mr C is often keen to remind me, I used to tell him that making your own bread was a waste of time. Thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and one of his amazing cookbooks I can now whip up a fabulous focaccia and a perfect pizza base in no time at all. How did that happen?
I hate the postman. I never really understood why my parents didn’t get excited when the post arrived, after all it was letters with THEIR names on! Anything could be inside! Except we all know what was inside. On a recent episode of Peppa Pig (which I’m very familiar with) Daddy Pig picked the post up off the doormat and said ‘’Ah, a brown envelope for me’’. Let’s face it, if you’re a grown up then they’re all brown envelopes. Despite registering to receive all our bills online some of the b****rs still seem to arrive and spoil my morning. My dislike of the postman should not however be confused with couriers – they are usually bringing me something much nicer!
I grow my own vegetables. I would never have picked myself out as a gardener until we moved into our house two years ago. We’re lucky to have a big garden and it’s got some raised vegetable patches built at the bottom. My inlaws grow a lot of their own veg and brought round some potatoes and cabbage plants last year to get us started. I wasn’t very keen but they kept asking if we’d planted them and letting the little seedlings die would not have been good for family relations. So, I planted them and honestly without very much TLC we had an amazing crop! This year I’ve gone a bit crazy with potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, leeks, shallots, peppers and tomatoes. I absolutely love being out there in the fresh air and watching everything spring into life. The boys love it too – digging for potatoes is like finding pirate treasure!
On a much more painful note, my Mum’s death four years ago probably made me grow up the quickest of all. I’m not sure there is anything like the death of a parent to punch you in the stomach, knock the wind out of you and make you realise that it’s all up to you now. The person that has taken care of you, worried about you and always been there to pick you up is suddenly gone. You’re on your own now, the top of the chain. It’s your turn to do the looking after and the worrying. You’re in charge and it’s pretty scary.
The Big One
And talking of knocking the wind out of you, the big thing that turned me (and most of us) into an adult is having children. The responsibility of caring and providing for them is huge. A few months before L was born Mr C and I sorted out our first life insurance policy just in case anything happened to us. We’re already saving for university for the boys (how American is that?) and if anything is going to keep me awake at night then it’s worries about them, not me. When your first little bundle of joy arrives, your world is turned upside down. There is a whole new person to consider when you’re making so many of your decisions, big and small. Whether it’s about where you live, choosing where you go on holiday or even what to do on a Sunday morning (and you can forget about lying in bed and reading the papers!) you always have someone else to think about.
So that’s it, I’ve done it. I’ve turned from a relatively carefree ‘girl’ in my twenties to a full on grown woman in my late (yes, I’m actually admitting late) thirties. And some of it isn’t fun but I’m coming to terms with the transition. And if I’m happy in my garden, glass of wine in hand and a nice home made pizza cooking in the oven then so what? It sounds pretty good to me.