Grow up that is!!
The Daily Prompt.
Missive : When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?
I have to say. I’m not as grown up as I suppose I should be. If I get the chance to play on a jumping Castle, or ride a supermarket trolly, drive as if the devil was behind me or take a chance, I’m as infantile as they come.
Alas. These are all things frowned upon when a woman reaches my hair colour and knee wrinkles. If I was younger I would have sported a tongue ring. An eye piercing. A tattoo in my neck. As it is I’m contemplating one behind my ear – maybe the kid’s Zodiac signs or just a teardrop to commemorate all the tears I’ve cried for them 😉 The ankle tattoo is a given since the chain my dude gave me got lost. Will be my only visible tattoo, but I will make it look as good as it can. Another possibility is yet another earring, but one in a very odd place. Maybe, one day.
Still. I have an adult’s responsibilities. I have children that look to me to share the bit of wisdom I gathered over the years. Regardless of the fact that I’m mostly just floundering along like they are, the fact that I’m way older than them, have way more grey hair and a lot more wrinkles means that I’m the one that should in actual fact NOT play my tunes too loud.
But the one thing that brought my adulthood into glaring perspective was the day my eldest had his varsity rag procession.
I don’t know if I have written about this yet. Probably have at that, but hey. You just get to read about it again.
Anyhow. Summer in Pretoria, South Africa. Jacaranda trees are blooming in the Jacaranda city. Place covered with purple flowers. The students, in particular the first years, have been spending their days and nights and weekends folding paper flowers to decorate their floats. Separated in houses, I hardly ever saw my son during that time. the youngest was living with his father by that time, it was the years I was to turn forty.
The big night arrives. Me, mom and sister standing in Queen Wilhelmina str. Of course it’s got some ungodly name now, but this is now. Then it was still Queen Wilhelmina. We share the street with many other parents and grandparents, little brothers and sisters playing everywhere. Of course the street is closed for the general public – it’s not every day that the University has their rag procession.
We stand and wait. Float after float comes by, each depicting something else. And then my son’s house float comes past.
I strain my eyes to see him in the darkening gloom, and there he is. With his furs all matted, house t shirt, shaking a little tin for all he’s worth, he does not look all too impressed with all the attention, but I just saw him. My baby.
I can remember how it felt to give birth to him. I can remember the expressions on the doctor’s face as he caught my son. I remember the pain, the pressure, the utter relief. And here he is.
A man. No longer the little boy that would throw his arms around me at the drop of a hat. No longer the young boy that would feed the dogs and feed the family. no longer the difficult teen that worked so hard at school to get where he was now.
A man. Out of my sphere. Not part of my frame work anymore. Somebody that has started on his own road. A person apart. Somebody that I bore, that I raised, that I saw grow up. Somebody that I tried to instill values in. Manners. Ethics. All leading up to this one moment in time.
I burst out in tears. My mom laughed and then she hugged me. sister had no idea why I was so emotional, but my mom knew.
That was the moment I realised that I was an adult now. Before that I was just playing at it. Still faffing with life. But when I saw my son there, I realised that I can’t hide behind them anymore. I had to take up the burden of adulthood and be the person they need me to be now.
I still have my moments. Where I kick back and play with abandon.
But since that day I’ve become a woman. Hopefully the woman they can be proud to call Mom.