Do I have to?

Grow up that is!!

The Daily Prompt.

More entries.

Missive :Β 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 stillΒ 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.






29 comments on “Do I have to?

  1. Pingback: Some Things (Most Things) Are Best Unsaid | The Jittery Goat

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  3. RAG was the coolest thing ever! I did it every year in the 5 years that I was in varsity.
    Very dashing young man that’s in the photo you have there πŸ˜‰

    • He only did it first year, but he had fun while he was busy with it πŸ˜‰
      thanks chickpea – with a mother like me, how can he not be?
      They have ever been my reason for getting up in the mornings…

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: All Grown Up | nicksen

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  6. And a handsome son indeed.
    Ghia, I’m a grandmother. I raised my (one) daughter alone. Thank goodness I had a job so we survived, but I still wonder if I feel all grown up? It’s a strange feeling thinking everyone else is, so when will your turn come?

    • Thanks Tess!!!
      As for feeling all grown up, I think none of us really do at that.
      There’s always the little kid inside us pushing to come out – maybe that’s why senile people basically revert back to being a child – lots more fun was had then!!

      • I wanted to know that, Ghia, because it’s obvious from the look on his face; he loves the photo taker…
        What a proud mum you must be… πŸ˜‰

      • You have no idea Carol.
        The day he got his degree was quite the proudest day of my life!!
        I can’t really take much credit other than the fact that my life sucked enough for him to want to change at least one aspect of his πŸ˜‰

      • Hard work indeed!!!
        I think we have a good relationship me and my boys – as I say, they have ever been my reason to wake up in the morning πŸ˜‰
        Thanks Carol!!!

  7. Belated congrats J. He is a gorgeous boy and you are definitely a mom he IS proud of. No doubt of that. Growing up is hard to do.. that’s for sure. xxx and hugs

  8. J, what a terrific post! And that song…. you never fail with your music. Now, you’ve done and reminded me of something I meant to write. Might steal that song while I’m at. Thanks, my friend.

      • Oh, this is too funny – I just caught sight of the title again – “Do I have to?” – when I was a little girl – 2nd or 4th grade – my mother said my teacher had complained of my constant “Do I have to?” in response to any request, order, etc. See, J., old souls travel together… laughter. And, you fiend, I was still working on one post, when you reminded me about another, which I started today and realized I couldn’t do it justice in one sitting – sigh – no new posts…. And, there you are being your productive self with 1/4 the time….

      • Then there’s nothing for it but setting aside a time every day in which to only blog!!
        You know what else you can do? Type them on word and then do one of those scheduled post or some such. Or just type them up as you get the ideas, and as you finish one, you post it – that way your ideas won’t get lost πŸ˜‰
        As for the “Do I have to? question – I think I was very much the same – old souls, indeed!! Or at least kindred spirits πŸ˜‰

  9. That was quite a moment!
    Rag seems to have been one of the traditions sunk into obscurity. If it happens at all here any more, it is so low-key I never became aware of it. In days gone by I used to make a point of seeing the procession, even before the kids were involved.

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