The first time I realized I was actually getting older (a realtive term, I know) was back in my mid 20’s. It suddenly occured to me that some professional athletes were actually younger than me. Imagine that….the baseball players, the football players…the Olympic athletes…they were YOUNGER.
Now, I have these ‘growing up’ moments regularly..but it is most pronounced by having children.
While I have suddenly found myself in the midst of a ‘Can you believe the price of gas? Of milk? Of bread?’ conversation (which is a clear indication of adulthood), it wasn’t until my daydreams began to include or focus on my children that it hit me: I really am an adult.
I used to watch the Olympics thinking I would love to be a gymnast. Now, as the Olympics approach, I have found myself having the same little fantasy, but this time, it is not about me…it is about my daughter. I heard Jeff having a similar moment today. He was talking about a young baseball player who, it seems, has done everything he could to earn a true spot on a major league team, but instead was ‘sent down’ to the minors. Jeff imagined himself in this player’s dad’s position….frustrated out of his mind that his son was being rewarded for a solid performance. Jeff no longer puts himself in the athlete’s position…he sees himself as a dad first. This is how I know we are growing up.
I think it is a rite of passage that comes, most especially with parenting. When there is actually something bigger and more important than YOU. I have dreams for my babies, as all parents do, but my most important dream: that they are happy in whatever path they choose.