I asked my mom when you properly, officially feel like a grown up. She’s in her 60s and her reply was that to a certain extent, you never really do. I’ve probably said that here on the blog before when pondering when or if I’ll ever have all my crap together…
I’m now in my mid 30s and so far I definitely agree with my wise ma. Part of it is having her and my dad, and Chris’ parents there in the first place. As mentors and sounding boards in life, as fiercely loyal supporters, as comfort whether far or away. Who doesn’t like to be taken care of sometimes?
For me the other part is that playful piece of my soul that pervades for most into adulthood. That drives my personal interests outside mamahood, that counters the functional (pay the bills, clean the house) with the fun (dance on the sofa, roll on the floor, bounce on the space hopper). Being a grown up is not just about doing adult things.
This past week I had a real kid moment. We were at our local swimming pool where we don’t go that often because it’s mental at the weekend and we used to swim via our gym membership (now cancelled for it’s price tag and the fact we didn’t use it enough- though we did use it a lot for swimming with the kids). The pool has amazing old school flumes that descend in curves and loops a few stories from ceiling to floor, and I took a real fancy to going down that flume! I love absolutely love water parks but haven’t been for ages.
Our issue was that I was there solo with the kids, so we needed to stick together and they don’t let you ride the flume in pairs. C took a little bit of convincing but she was keen. Some of her friends had been and she’s getting a bit more daring. Little M was another story. He’s on the whole less risk averse than C, but he’s no fool and shooting down a flume a few stories high is no small feat when you are four and a half. But he was up for trying.
I should mention here the flumes come out into shallow water that children can stand in so you don’t need to be a swimmer. And that beyond the entry ramp they are fully enclosed, and that their is a ‘slower flume’ for children, flume virgins and the like. I even checked with a lifeguard who said M was ok to ride provided he was comfortable to ride solo.
We climbed the stairs. We waited. We reached the top platform. We peered at the rushing water at the flume launch. Our game plan was that C would go, then M and finally me. That way I’d know they were both down safely and could wait together with the lifeguard at the bottom.
And with a little shout, C was off like a rocket. The water gushed. My heart started an adrenaline pound. I lifted Max onto the launch seat and reminded him to lay back. And then, as he prepared to launch, he scrambled around into my arms and said he didn’t want to go anymore, that he was scared.
I picked him up and gave one last longing glance at the flume before making our way back down the stairs to meet C at the bottom. Truthfully I’d been surprised he was willing to give it a go because he is still pretty small, and even though I think he’d love it, you don’t know that until you take the plunge.
So my big kid adventure streak needs to wait a little longer. I love that it’s there, but the little kids take priority.