How do you know when you’re a grownup?
Published 8:35 am Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sooner than later, we reach that point in life where no one says to us, “My, how you have grown.”
It’s not that they couldn’t say that. We keep growing. It’s just that most people wouldn’t dare say such a thing about our weight.
Inside every older person is a younger person — wondering what happened.
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When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to become a grownup. Now that I occasionally pass as a grownup, I feel like Charlie Brown trying to fly a kite.
The difference between a grownup and one who is not is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
As a seeker of wisdom and truth on a journey of discovery into his more complicated years, I have no clue whether it is better going up a mountain or coming down. Are dawn or dusk people the happiest? Does the What We’ll Be bunch or the Way We Were group find the most joy?
A friend told me that he was finding it difficult getting used to being middle-aged. He’s 63. I cannot think of him as middle-aged. Not many people live to be 126. But he is a grownup.
I know that growing up is difficult. That’s why so many men choose not to do it. I tried it once.
A young woman in the family was steamed. Why? Because someone called her “ma’am.” She doesn’t want to be a “ma’am.” Maybe growing up is being OK about being called “ma’am.” I must admit that it would have ticked me off, too.
How do you know you’re a grownup?
You’re not a grownup if you run just to tease the smokers or arrange your dirty clothes on the floor into the words, “I love you.”
You’re a grownup if you are able to say, “It’s my fault” and mean it.
You’re a grownup if a Happy Meal doesn’t always make you happy.
You’re a grownup if everywhere you look, you see something that needs doing.
You’re a grownup if you own a car that isn’t best friends with jumper cables.
You’re a grownup if you appreciate hand-me-downs.
You’re a grownup if you value the little things. Charles Dickens wrote, “Trifles make the sum of life.”
You’re a grownup if you spend an inordinate amount of time talking about what gas prices used to be.
You’re a grownup if you say the things your parents said — the ones you swore you would never say.
You’re a grownup if you hear your favorite song in an elevator or on a TV commercial.
You’re a grownup if a weed whacker on wheels has passed you on the highway.
You’re a grownup if you eat breakfast cereal only at breakfast.
You’re a grownup if you realize that you have no one to complain to.
You’re a grownup if you know that taking a glove to a Major League Baseball game doesn’t mean that you might get to play.
You’re a grownup if you remember when the smoking section was anywhere that you couldn’t smell gas.
You’re a grownup if you know that toilets are not self-cleaning.
You’re a grownup if your parents no longer embarrass you in public.
You’re a grownup if you no longer own a nuclear-powered car radio that torments eardrums.
You’re a grownup if you are less concerned with building your body than you are in reducing it.
You’re a grownup if things left unsaid shout at you.
You’re a grownup if you have difficulty in stopping smoking instead of a challenge starting.
You’re a grownup if you never go into a store without buying something.
You’re a grownup if you realize that there is nothing to be gained by judging others.
You’re a grownup if you recognize that everyone knows more about something than you do and is worth listening to.
You’re a grownup if it’s no longer funny when you fall down.
You’re a grownup if you understand that if you could trade troubles with another, you’d likely keep yours.
You’re a grownup if you maintain a great interest in thermostat settings.
You’re a grownup if you have accepted the fact that the Vikings will never win the Super Bowl.
You’re a grownup if you are able to get so full at the nibbles table that you cannot finish your meal.
You’re a grownup if you have figured out that things turn out the best for people who make the best of how things turn out.
Not to mention the fact that gravity becomes stronger when you’re a grownup. Oops, I mentioned it.
We choose a direction and we leave home. When that begins to hurt, we know that we are gone. We are a grownup.
Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.