Saturday, September 06, 2008

More Incipient Adulthood

A friend's mother (and a friend in her own right) left a comment on my last post, and my response become so long winded that I decided to make it into a post of its own. So, Mrs. L, here you go--a dubious claim to fame, to be sure, but your words inspired the Adventurer to do some more thinking. (And quote mine some more.)

ML said...
Some days I'm still faking it at age fifty-four. After a while, though, the number of things you need to learn how to do to survive goes down. Sometimes my mantra is "now I've done that before!"--Lilmartha

Mrs. L--

I think Calvin's dad went through something similar during the arc where the house got broken into:

"I was thinking. It's funny...when I was a kid, I thought grown-ups never worried about anything. I trusted my parents to take care of everything, and it never occured to me that they might not know how. I figured that once you grew up, you automatically knew what to do in any given scenario. I don't think I'd have been in such a hurry to reach adulthood if I'd known the whole thing was going to be ad-libbed."

The readiness is all, Shakespeare said. The problem is, at the tipping point where I am now--where a lot of people are, me and about everyone else I graduated with--is that you don't know what readniess you need. You don't know what you don't know, as it were. And that, more than any of the other fears that plague the early twenties, is perhaps the worst.

I guess all this serves to highlight the difference between growing up and being a grown-up. So, please, adults, "real" adults, our parents and parents' friends, people like you, Mrs. L--continue to advise us. We may not always look like we're paying attention. Sometimes we seem be downright ungrateful. But it is a balm when someone who has been an adult for our entire lives gives us a handle on where we are, a framework for dealing with the responsibilities as well as the rights that are now ours.

(I'm still flying.)


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