Well, I've decided I'm not going to talk about my family too much; I don't want to say anything I may later regret! All I will say is that my mother, Sarah, passed away almost two years ago on April 11, 2008. What I will call the "original family" consists of me, dad, Stephie, and Nick. My dad is getting married in May to Kari and bringing the total number of people in this family to 9 with her 4 children: Brady, Ariel, DJ, and Jaida.
Today, I was thinking: when is the right time to "grow up"? Sure, it's something parents yell at you when they're pissed or something you wish would happen faster or slow down, but when is the right time? Different people say it happens at different times: Bar/Bah Mitzvah, first period, first time masterbating (no joke, this is a sign of becoming a man in the Islamic culture), losing your virginity, getting your driver's license, graduating high school, turning 18, turning 21...
So many definitions, but very few people abide by these standards. Do you really "become a woman" when you menstrate? But most importantly, will your parents treat you any differently? Probably no. You won't get any new special responsibilities or be allowed to sit at the grown-up table at Thanksgiving. Most of those milestones have happened to me, and the only one I thought would really make me an adult is turning 18. Nope, not treated much differently. Going off to college kind of forces the parental figures to let go and treat you older, but not much. Sure, there are plenty of people my age who maturity wise are about 14 and others who are 27, but my question is not when people mature to adulthood, it is when do parents accept the adulthood of their children? Do they ever?
My guess is no, honestly, because you will forever be your mommy and/or daddy's little girl; I know I will be. Letting go is hard, but that's only the first step. And parents, accepting that you no longer have the ability truly to punish your kid anymore is tough. Your darling angel may go out, get shitfaced drunk, sleep with a random guy, and that there is nothing you can do about it. She has to fuck up on her own; trust that you did enough while she was growing up. Parents who obsess about their child's behavior past the age of, say, 18, and she is no longer living in the house, seem to worry they didn't do enough. And, parents, if you didn't? Tough shit. You can't go back now; what's done is done.
Now that I'm 19, I can usually sit at the "big kid's table" on most occasions. That was a marker of adulthood for me, even though it is not nearly as exciting as I thought it would be. But for my dad? I think that time will come when I'm financially independent. :)