Today is my dad's birthday. I just got off the phone with him and he doesn't sound like he should be 49. That just sounds so much older than he is. I've always thought of my dad as a young dad. He's younger than most of my friends' parents, younger than Justin's parents, but 49? That's just a year away from 50. I never thought that my parents would be in their 50s. It makes me feel like an adult. Is that strange, basing the way I feel on the ages of my parents?
I don't feel like a grown up most of the time. I still feel like I need to ask someone's permission before I go to the mall at night, or stay out past 12. I don't smoke, I don't really drink often, I'm not married with kids. Those are all the things I associate with being an adult. I still get a thrill when I go on a trip alone or with friends, like I'm leaving authority for a few days. What authority? I still call my mom and dad when I'm hurt or worried or when something good happens, even if it's something very small. I just wonder when it is that I won't feel that urge.
I wonder if my mom feels like a grown-up. She's been married and divorced, remarried. She has children (grown children!?) She has a house and a couple of cars and two dogs. She takes care of her mother. But does she still get that little jump in her chest when she leaves the house by herself? When she orders a margarita in a restaurant (which she doesn't actually...) is she afraid the waiter will laugh at her and not bring it? I doubt it.
My younger brother and sister are graduating from high school in May. This makes me feel old and young at the same time, in a weird way. I can look at the calendar and acknowledge "yes, they are 19 years old and they are graduating. We are all officially, legally, adults. (?!)" But at the same time, the other half of my mind screams "WHAT? They're not graduating, they're 8! You're 12! Forget this nonsense! Go ask your parents if you can go to Sonic." Justin's the same way with his little sister. She's 20, and she's dating a man with a child and it totally freaks him out. He's like "but she's just 16!" It comforts me that if I'm crazy for thinking this way, that I'm not the only one.