I don’t have many friends that use their Facebook feeds to humblebrag about their Pinterest worthy crafts, even though I have some that legit could. Still, when I see friends cooking Thanksgiving dinners for their entire extended family, talking about brining and basting, setting real grown-up dining room tables with jacquard linens, I wonder what is wrong with me. When am I going to grow up?
When my husband and I were getting married we registered for a fancy(ish) China set and I remember thinking “this is a sign we’re adults.” I envisioned hosting holidays, or (knowing my captain of cooking mom) at the very least celebrations with our friends, ringing in the new year in our adult home, with our adult dishes, killer recipes and excessive bottles of wine. Instead, we live in a small apartment that barely holds one pair of visitors in addition to our family of four, decorated mostly with furniture from IKEA. And those china plates? They sit in storage in the cardboard boxes they were shipped in — where they have been for over nine years.
My brother and I were talking after Thanksgiving dinner at our parents’ house. He has a two-year-old son and a three-week old daughter and he commented, “man, I’m old now.” Forget the fact that he’s younger than me (and clearly wasn’t thinking of his audience when he said that), but I reminded him that our own parents had two kids when they were just 22. “Yeah, that’s true,” he responded, “I guess it means it’s just time to grow-up.”
Well I’ve had two kids for over two years now and my train hasn’t pulled into the station at adult-ville yet. Does being a grown-up mean having more space or expensive furniture? Throwing parties? Knowing how to cook a killer side dish? I used to think all of these things were part of growing up, just skills you picked up along the way through your 20s and 30s. But here I am, a lawyer, a wife, a mother of two and I don’t have any of those qualities I envisioned I would have as “an adult.”
My expectations of being “grown-up” don’t live up to the reality of where I am. But I am aware enough to know that learning to cook a casserole isn’t going to make me feel like an adult overnight. Yet I don’t know what will flip that switch for me. Since my mother is crazy young I can only assume I have decades before anyone expects me to host a holiday party, but should I take the reigns for a year? Would that be a start? I honestly can’t say. Clearly I’ve expected more of “adult” me than I’ve delivered on and Facebook makes me think I’m one of the only ones.