In some cases, we meet our one, decide to take it to the next step and get married and have a family. In other cases, we might be surprised to find an extra strip on our pregnancy test one morning. It really doesn't matter how it happens, because all of a sudden: YOU ARE A GROWN UP!
You might enter the stages of denial, you might jump up and down celebrating that new life that's inside you, you might freak out, you might cry... you might react in every possible way imaginable. But at some point during yours or your partner's pregnancy you are going to think: "Oh $#&%#$! I am responsible for another person now." And that's when it hits you.
Up until this point, and it doesn't really matter if you where 19, 25, 36 or even in your forty's, you saw a clear distinction between yourself and "the grown ups". Yes! you where nothing like your parents! You are still too young for lot's of things, getting older is not in your near future and you still have time to backpack thru Europe or live in a studio apartment. Consequences are not that big of a deal as they only affect "me". I mean, even if you are married or in a relationship, you really don't think about the big picture, or maybe not all of the time. You might have a savings account for the future or started paying mortgage on a house thinking about the future, but the reality is, that until you are not there, you see it far far away.
I'm 31. But I don't feel 31. I remember when my parents where my age (they had me kind of young) They looked like they had all their ducks in a row. They demanded respect and they definitely looked like they knew what they where doing. When my parents where my age, they already had 3 kids, a house, income, and the whole package. But then, I 'm in a similar situation as the one they where and I definitely don't feel like I've got all my ducks in a row. Heck! I'm still looking for some ducks that went missing some time ago! I look at my friends, and they don't seem all that grown up either. But one thing is for sure, I am more responsible now. I certainly can't be as spontaneous as I was before. If I want to travel, I need to plan ahead sometimes weeks or even months in advance. I don't have time to focus on my own needs a lot since I have a kid who needs me and a marriage that needs to be cared for.
I can definitely feel how I'm growing up, one day at a time. And it didn't start until I became a mother. Everything before was certainly a preparation for what growing up meant. But up until the point where I was responsible for someone else's life, I was still a child doing grown up stuff.
Yes, growing up hurts! I bet my child thinks I have all my ducks in a row and some day he'll be in this stage of life and think he is screwing everything up. Maybe my parents felt the same way I feel when they where going thru this. Maybe they still do, maybe they still feel like lost teenagers on the inside, at least some times. Maybe growing up is just an illusion that no body can really reach. Maybe I don't need to rush and put all my ducks in a row after all and just enjoy the beautiful process life is.