From the way I talk (write), it might seem like I’ve taken some steps backward in terms of becoming a full-fledged adult—you know, with a real job and practical goals for my future. I can assure you, however, that that is certainly not the case. Why, just this past weekend I was repeatedly, subtly slapped in the face with evidence of my getting older, of time passing.
I spent Saturday out of the city with my boyfriend and dog. The three of us were sped away by Metro North and landed in the world of leaves changing colors and prep schools. That’s right, we went to the northwest corner of Connecticut. The purpose of the trip was to spend some time with my grandparents and mother. We had such a lovely time; my maturity is almost palpable.
Sure, choosing to stay out until 1am when our train was at 7:45am was a choice that an “adult” might not have made, but we didn’t oversleep enough to miss it. We made it there, with combed hair and only semi-rumpled clothes to boot. Thus, the fact that my alarm didn’t go off because I couldn’t be bothered to turn the volume on can’t be held against us.
Anyone who I’ve spoken to in the past week might take this opportunity to point out that we weren’t going to CT just to be doting adult children/grandchildren.
“Sara, didn’t you go for the visit because your mom offered to give you clothes, furniture, and dishes your grandparents don’t need anymore?”
To this, I must admit: free stuff was the impetus for the trip. Yes, my boyfriend made out like a bandit and is now knee-deep in grandpa gear. Yes, I’ve laid claim on a cut glass punch bowl, decanter, and stemware combo. But, aren’t those things adults have? Touché. Also, my grandmother gifted me a sugar bowl/creamer set that she painted herself to look like acorns. If a sugar bowl isn’t a sign of maturity and sophistication, I don’t know what is.
In hindsight, my dog pooping inside the house doesn’t reflect well on my grown-up image, but you win some, you lose some.
The reason my grandparents have so much to spare right now is because they recently moved from a condo in a retirement community to an apartment in an assisted living facility—I guess everyone was showing signs of getting older this weekend.
Although my advancement is clear, I have to confess, it’s hard to look at my elders and imagine the bridge between us. If I play my cards right, at some point in the future I won’t be walking dogs and I’ll be able to buy things for myself. There’s a possibility that, in addition to the dog, I’ll have kids in the future. Hopefully they won’t poop on the rug too. My point is, I cannot even fathom how I’ll possibly get there. My only hope is that my parents were just as clueless when I was born, but I was too busy being an infant to notice. (I can say that because I’m an adult and am able to separate that sentence from the implications it might have had on my development if it’s true.)
I suppose this is all to say: we’re all getting older. I’m getting older, you’re getting older, my grandparents are getting older. Hopefully with that age comes some wisdom and the capability to handle it. Hopefully we can all seamlessly slide from adult-child to adult. And, if it doesn’t feel so easy to do, in the words of my wise mother: fake it ‘til you make it.