When I was wee, I couldn't wait to be a grown-up. I was never a very childish child, in the playing and being goofy way. I was always sure that I was meant to be recognized as a grown-up. I loved thinking about what grown-ups thought and did and listening to their grown-up conversations. Some of my most comforting childhood memories are of sitting around the table listening to my parents and their friends drink wine and talk into the night, and/or falling asleep listening to the same. Flash forward a few (ish) years, and here I am - a theoretical grown-up. Now don't get me wrong - being a grown-up has its perks. Doesn't it? Nobody tells me when to clean my room and I can have sex whenever I want to (in theory). And okay, yeah, those are some pretty freaking great perks, it's true. But the notion that somehow, the older I get, the easier and more sensical and less daunting things will get, well, this does not appear to be so.
My mom (one of the most beautiful human beings on this earth, and if you haven't met her, you're just going to have to take my word for it) was visiting me and the kidlets for the past week. It was a wonderful visit and the kids and I were in Mom/Nannie heaven. But as my mom and I had our wonderful and intense evening talks with tea and snuggle pillows, as we each talked about our lives and the struggles we were having, and the good bits we were having, it finally fully dawned. This shit does *not* get easier as time goes on. In fact, the smarter we get, the more self-aware (and hopefully more honest) we get - the more difficult things seem to be.
(Or, to quote Four Weddings and a Funeral, BuggerBuggerBuggerBugger!).
In my 20s - I was fearless (well, you know, as fearless as a girl with an anxiety problem can be). But last night, as I was driving home from dropping off my mom at the airport, I was struck by this incredible sense of .... what? Of fear, maybe? A brief moment of child-like panic? A certain sort of "You're leaving me here? Alone? Without a sitter? In charge of other small people? Whose idea was it to put ME in charge? I can't be in charge! Can I get just one more head rub? Are you sure I'm old enough for this?" feeling.
Well. The truth is, I'm not old enough for this. The truth is, it's probably fucking ridiculous that anyone put me in charge of anything. I wonder if all people feel like this, or just me. The way is see it at the moment is - we muddle through it and and we pretend to have it all under control a bit and sometimes even we pretend to muddle through it while we're at a complete standstill. We look for answers (that may or may not exist), we meditate, we ruminate, we obsess, we pray. We learn some things here and there. And the more we learn, the more daunting it all becomes.
So, I suppose, the grown-upness means that despite the shit-scariness of it all, onward we march. I don't know about you, but I still want just one more head rub. :)