Monday, June 23, 2008

Wait--I’m a Grown-Up?

My daughter recently graduated from high school. The last month was a whirlwind of banquets, award ceremonies and social events, culminating in the whole senior class going to Disneyland for an all-nighter.

After the dust had settled, she and I took an evening walk and talked about the next few months...including how I’d been called for Jury Duty. I lightly added how she could get called now, too. And then suddenly, in a crosswalk, we looked at each other with the same startling thought: OMG, in the eyes of the law--of society--she’s a grown-up.

A watershed moment. No longer a child, a dependent, a minor.

And I touched back on a similar scenario from my life. I had just turned 18 and was reading a newspaper article when an “18 year-old woman” was mentioned. And I remember wondering it didn’t say “18 year-old girl.” Until I realized because 18 was an adult. Gah! Which meant that possible...

Anyway, I know some teenagers feel ready to take on the full gambit of adult responsibilities at an early age, and then there’s some of us who sort of wait until the grown-up thing happens to us. Either way, we continue on our life’s journey, trying to find our niches and hopefully making the right decisions and the most of opportunities.

How about you? Did you ever have a moment, at any age, when you suddenly stopped in your tracks and realized that things had changed, or at least, people’s perception of you had changed?

And by the way, Congrats to the Class of ’08!


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie - Book Sense Top Teen Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, National Reader’s Choice Award


The Golfing Librarian said...

Maybe it was because I grew up in a University town, but High School graduation wasn't that big of a deal to me and many of my friends whose families were connected to the University ib some way. Graduation only meant that you attended school "on the hill" now.
I felt grown up after the B.A., but adulthood and responsibilities really sunk in the day (and night) that my fist child was born.
"Damn the torpedos, adulthood dead ahead!"

Cara King said...

I think it was the first time the gas-station guy called me ma'am. :-)

Then again, I was something like sixteen at the time. But it was still a really bizarre and exciting feeling...


TinaFerraro said...

Oh, yes, Cara, being called "ma'am" for the first time stopped me in my tracks, too.

And Chuck, uh-huh, the first THAT's a reality check!

Anyone go through this when they sold a first book?

Marley Gibson said...

Congrats to Tina, Jr. for her wonderful accomplishment! = ) My niece is a member of the class of 2008, as well. It only seems like yesterday that she was running around the yard in only a diaper, chasing the dog who was completely discombobulated by her laugh/scream. They really do grow up quickly!

I hate being called ma'am.

stephhale said...

Great post, Tina. That must have been such an exciting/sad moment for you to know that soon she'll be striking out on her own. I don't even want to think about that day with the boys! :)
And I kind of feel like I've been a grown-up forever. I was always a really responsible kid. I think I was in second grade when I got my own alarm clock so I didn't have to worry about being late for school!

Wendy Toliver said...

I was very sick after the birth of my second son, and we'd just moved to a new town, where everyone seemed nice but I didn't have any close friends yet. My husband was out of town, and I remember lying in bed, hallucinating from a high fever, realizing I had no clue a) where my two year-old was in my house and b) when I'd last fed or changed the newborn. This was when I discovered what it really meant to be a mother: not proving to the world that I could do it all by myself, but doing what's best for my children--even if it means getting outside help.

TinaFerraro said...

Tina, Jr...:) Cute, Marley, and congrats to your neice, too!

Steph, you know, that first alarm clock IS a milestone, and knowing you, somehow I am not surprised that you've been a responsible go-getter since an early age.

Wendy, wow, that's a touching story, and kudos to you for dealing with that, and for putting your kids first!

Simone Elkeles said...

I felt old when my boobs started to sag.

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

I think I realized I was a "grown up" when I moved out to Seattle by myself and got my first apt....and realized I really had no one to fall back on if I failed at my new life....pretty dang freaky!

TinaFerraro said...

LOL, Simone! And I admit to nothing on this subject. :)

Dona, I agree that my first apartment alone was a milestone, too!