Confession: I never feel like I’m a proper adult.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. In fact, I know I’m not because this is a regular topic of conversation between me and my husband. We constantly look around at other adults and discern that we are not like them. They are indeed proper adults and we certainly are not.
I’m not sure we want to be. No, probably not.
I was never the kid who wanted to grow up in a hurry and I don’t think my husband was either. I think if he could have stayed a lanky kid playing football until it was too dark to see, he would have. And if I could have stayed a bookish kid reading and writing in her bedroom, I would. Oh that’s still me!
I don’t understand people who want to be adults. I don’t understand people who are adults. I find them really hard to talk to. Most adults I come across are really, really into small talk. Small talk about cars, mortgages, interest rates, remodelling their houses, shit like that. Shit I don’t give a shit about. I never know what to say in reply. I usually have to try and not laugh.
I’m a giggler. And its getting worse. The older I get the more I want to giggle at everything. The slightest thing can set me off and my family know exactly how to get me going and make me choke on my tea. I’m not sure giggling with other adults happens much though? They all seem so serious. Or cheerful, about mortgages and new cars. I don’t get it.
Me and my husband just pretend at being adults. We both have jobs, though mine is one where I get to be silly with kids who love writing as much as me! My husband makes his job more fun by deliberately confusing customers or spouting random political opinions at them in a cheery manner.
As I type this I am laughing at a group chat we have on the go. I’ve got tears running down my face and my eyes sting. They don’t care though – they just make me laugh more. Sometimes I think they’re trying to kill me. My husband and I drove back from Wales yesterday after dropping our eldest back at University. I think we laughed the whole way back. At ourselves, at other people, at everything.
We look at other adults, other parents and then we look at each other, eyebrows raised.
We don’t mean to be mean, but we just don’t understand them, we just can’t gel with them. We both try hard not to get snared by anyone on the school run. Our tactics are similar. Stay in the car until the last possible minute, rush in, grab child, make no eye contact, rush back to car, phew! We don’t have a lot but we look at other people and feel glad we are not them.
Our response to life is to take the piss out of it. Our reaction to this dying world is to poke fun and laugh until we cry. No one will ever listen to us anyway, even though we know we are right about everything.
When I see a hill, I want to roll down it. When I see a tree, I want to climb it. When I see rocks, I want to jump from one to the next. I’m glad these silly childish urges have never faded. I hope they never do.
How to adult?
It’s just not in our genes.
But my question to you today, is this. Do you feel like an adult? Do you ‘adult’ well? Does society accept and recognise you as a fully functioning adult person? Or are you like us? Do you still feel the same inside as you always did? Do you look in the mirror and find it hard to reconcile your ageing face with the childish nature inside of you?
I hope so. It’s much more fun this way.