someone older and wiser

Winter is gone. Really gone. I am no longer asking myself, "Is Winter finally gone? Is this Spring?" And that is how I know it is Spring. For real.

My 26th birthday is in four weeks.

For some reason turning 25 felt novel and exciting. After years of struggling with insecurity over feeling like a young young married girl and then a young young mom, I hoped 25 would be the year it ended. I hoped I wouldn't wonder if I was a grown-up anymore.

I am kind of a child-like person. Not childish, but definitely child-like. You are likely to find me curtseying and singing in public or wrinkling my nose and talking to myself as I pick out vegetables at the supermarket.

When I was six, my favorite movie was 'The Sound of Music' (of course) and I still remember the day I gleefully swore to my mom that when I was finally 16 I would sing "I am 16 going on 17" ALL THE TIME. I pictured myself as a glamorous teenager singing it just like Liesl and possibly dancing in a gazebo. My mom laughed a little and informed me that when I was actually 16 I probably wouldn't be interested in singing just like Liesl anymore.

But... I was.
And I did.
And I felt so much the same at 16-going-on-17 as I did at 6.
And I feel so much at 25 as I did at 16-going-on-17.

My life has changed, yes, quite a lot. I have lots of responsibilities and manage to look after two small people and a husband and a house and I do, I do it. I do it like a lady, like a mom, like a grown-up.

But how oh how can I be a grown-up when I remember exactly what it feels like to have my grandma rock me to sleep?

I think I am sort of accepting that adulthood feels different than I imagined it would. Your memories don't fade as much as I thought they would. And I can't believe I am a whole year older than my mom was when she was doing this with me. Now SHE? My mother? SHE was a grown-up. A mom. A lady. I never wanted to cross her or disappoint her. And while I knew she knew almost everything, I didn't realize that she knew what it was like to be a little girl. That she WAS a little girl. A little girl who got a little older and had a little baby.

Maybe next year when I turn 27 I will realize I have not asked myself if I am "really" a grown-up in a long long time. And then I guess I will know I am. For real.



  1. Oh Erin, I love this post and can relate to it so much. Except this year I will be thirty and still don't feel grown up. :)

  2. Oh my gosh Erin. You are a writer. This is beautiful.

  3. Don't worry Erin - as long as you can hold your childhood close to your heart, you'll never grow up. I haven't. And I'm 44.

    Very best, Peter Pan.

  4. I stumbled upon this blog and love this post. I just turned 30 and am wondering when I'm going to feel like a grown-up. My mother-in-law says that she still doesn't feel like one and I've heard that you don't really feel that way until your parents have passed on. Which, I guess, makes sense. I hope I don't feel that way for a long time. :)

  5. I love this entry, especially because I just turned 27 yesterday and spent the entire day questioning if I was really a grown up. I can definitely relate!

  6. i think life is better when you remember what every age felt like, so that even when you are 26 you are still 6 and 16 at the same time. you are your own kind of grown up (we all define it for ourselves all the time, as we live it), which is exciting and sort of scary at the same time.

  7. Erin, this captures so many of my thoughts about getting older perfectly. I don't feel any different. But I'm in my thirties. How did that happen? This is wonderful.

  8. Amazing post. It was just yesterday that I looked around at our friends and said, "Can you guys believe that we're the grown ups?" I spend most of my time doing grown up, responsible things, have (pretty much :-0 ) three children, including one who goes to school every day, have had more than one grown up job over the years, and am on the downhill side of 32. When will I stop feeling like it's odd that I'm an adult? Maybe when I stop writing run-on sentences? In any case, my wonderful, past 60 mother says you never get over feeling that way, so I guess we'd better get used to it. The mystical land of grown up that we imagined when we were kids doesn't really exist, at least not the way we thought.

  9. Oh my goodness! I am turning 26 in a few weeks, and it has me thinking... adulthood doesn't feel as "grown-up" as I expected it too either. :) Thanks for such a loverly post!

  10. Oh Erin, this post speaks to me so much. I'll be 28 in a couple of months, and I've finally come to grips with the fact that I will never stop asking myself if I'm a grown up yet. Oddly, each year, I get a little less insecure about possibly not being a grown up yet. But, the feeling of still being a kid is so often still there. And, sometimes I wonder how God in his infinite wisdom could give me such awesome responsibilities when some days I still forget to do things like make my bed or brush my teeth!
    You are such an amazing mother, and you are definitely a grown up. I've met so many other very capable women who feel this way, that I am inclined to believe that I can't be as un-grown up as I think I am. So, I try to let myself believe that maybe just maybe I am a grown up...with the heart of a child. Isn't that what God wants us to be?

  11. I LOVE that picture and I adore your way with words.

    I'm 27 and sometimes I feel so old. Half the time, I forget how old I am when people ask. I always want to say 23 or perhaps 25, but somehow I keep creeping closer and closer to 30...

    Time has a way of sneaking up on you like that.

  12. my husband and i were talking about this the other day... one of the things my dad has always told us is that even though he gets older, he still feels about 16 on the inside. when i was little and thought he was the "grown-up" he felt just like i do now trying to figure it all out (parenting, relationships, finances, etc.) i went from being the one he carried sleeping from the car to being the one who knows the way home and carries my own kids in when we get there.