When did she grow up?

My husband and I were about to walk into World Market and just as the doors opened I looked at the smiling cashier who greeted us and a moment of recognition flashed across my face. At the same moment it flashed across hers. “Hi,” we both said excitedly.

It was Zoe and she was grown up. When did that happen? We both did the how are you, it’s been a while thing and say hi to your folks and then she started ringing up her next customer.

That was weird.

I had the same experience the night before when my friends came over with their kids. These little humans were still very young in my mind but here they were so grown up, with lives and friends and it was strange to me.

When did that happen?

I asked my husband once when did he first feel “grownup?” He kind of mumbled and I don’t really remember what he said. For me it was that moment when I realized I could take a road trip and I didn’t need anyone to tell me how to get there. When I was young and our family would travel it amazed me that they knew just where they were going. How did they know which road to take and which turn to make? How did they figure out where to go in the airport to find the gates and get on the right plane?

I can do that now.

Is it the decision making process for humans that make them a grownup? Getting up on time and being appropriately dressed for work? Is it paying bills and taking out the garbage? Is it the process of figuring out whether another person is a good person or bad? Is it knowing how to get across town or across the country and arriving where I intended to be?

I have always felt young at heart and I still am surprised sometimes at my chronological age. I remember being twenty and thinking people my age now were really old and had no life left. Once you are past that are you a grownup? Commitment to work, relationships and life are part of it. When does it happen?

I would like to hear when you felt you were a grownup.

-N

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