Friday, August 26, 2011

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Once in a while I'm struck by the realization that I'm an adult.  Usually I just float through life feeling like, well, me.  Like I've always felt.  But here I am, 40.  That seems old.  I remember being a kid, thinking 40 was SUPER old, and that doesn't seem so long ago.....  Sometimes it's a moment when I realize my parents are just people.  My father-in-law is just another guy.  Once you get to a certain age, we're all just peers, really.  I don't have an authority figure right now, other than God.  That seems sort of strange to me.  One thing that always weirds me out is when I think of my mom at my age.  When my mom was 40, I was 16.  I not only remember being 16 (well), but I remember her at that age.  In many ways she seems no older to me now than she did then.  So then I realize I seem as old to my kids as she did to me.  Ugh.  I look at myself in the mirror.  See the reddish face, the puffy-ish shape, the crow's feet.  I know there's some gray hairs in there--you can't see them because I color my hair (mwa-ha-ha-ha), but I know they're there.  But in my head I feel like that same 16-year old girl.  Only now I can't think of any 16-year old boys that I would be terrified to talk to.

It's the moments when I find myself acting adult-ish that catch me off guard.  I'm not just talking about parenting.  Clearly parenting brings out the adult in all of us, that's just how it goes.  If you're a decent parent, you can't help it.  I mean in situations outside of parenting.  Yesterday I had to have a tricky conversation with my father-in-law.  There has been a ridiculous amount of drama swimming around that side of my family lately, and the eye of the storm is him.  He is a difficult man to communicate with, and during the last, well, year or so, he had been dishonest and manipulative, and the family was really starting to splinter.  He had behaved horribly to me, and had taken advantage of my family, and yesterday something in me broke.  I'll spare you the details of the story, but I finally had to call him myself.  I am usually uncomfortable speaking my mind with him, as he is my father-in-law.  Not my dad.  I tend to defer to my hubby to "deal" with him and try to maintain a politeness in our relationship, but this time it was more personal. So I called him (after a very deep breath).  And I was honest.  And firm.  I spoke to him firmly, treated him like he was just another guy, not somebody with any sort of say over my life.  I was pacing madly in my upstairs hallway the entire time, but he doesn't have to know that.  And I was shaky from a huge dose of migraine medicine I had taken earlier, but I held my own.  I got my point across.  I said everything I wanted to say.  And I must have done a decent job, because he listened to me.  I actually think he really did hear what I said, and he was clearly sheepish.  I doubt the situation will change that much because of my call.  But I felt better.  I felt a little bit empowered, a little bit like a grown-up.

After that phone call, I decompressed by COMPLETELY emptying out my big closet to rearrange it and clean it, which resulted in the hubby deciding now would be a good time to put the new aromatic cedar ceiling in it before we put stuff back in.  (I should have known--a small project in our house NEVER stays small.)  So then we ended up with an ocean of clothing and hangers and shoes that we had to get off our bed so we could sleep last night and now the upstairs looks like an episode of Hoarders.  But while we were at the home improvement store my boys were being super goofy.  I was standing by the registers waiting for the hubby, and the two of them were dancing like idiots.  Shaking their butts and doing these odd-robot like movements and giggling like crazy people with no regard for the people around them.  The grown-up in me wanted to tell them to settle down.  But thankfully, the 12-year old me is still buried in there somewhere, and instead I just giggled right along with them.  I'd had enough being grown up for one day.

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