Thursday, June 25, 2009

A blast from the past and a glimpse of the future

Sparta, stabbing bubbles at the church. Maybe "grownup" isn't the right word.

The past few days have been a strange juxtaposition of my past and present.

It started on the weekend, when I attended the wedding of a girl I was good friends with in elementary school.

To be honest, while i was delighted to receive an invite, I was a little surprised as I hadn't actually seen her for a number of years. Most of my memories of her are from around the time that Barbie with the rollerblades that shot sparks, setting the occasional hapless child on fire, came on the market. I remember because she got one for her birthday.

And yet, there she was a couple of months ago, hand-delivering an invite to my parents' house. My mom said she knew who it was the moment my dad answered her knock and that familiar little voice came twinkling through the doorway.

On Saturday, as she stood there in her wedding dress, I couldn't help but see her as the little girl in a bride costume I knew so many Halloweens ago. It was so hard to wrap my head around the idea that this is all for real. There we were, making toasts and drinking wine, wearing bridal gowns and party dresses, high heels and makeup and none of it was stolen from our mothers' closets!

Monday, I felt a similar jolt when I went to see another friend from elementary school and to meet her baby daughter. When we were 12, she lost both of her parents to cancer within three weeks of one another.

We were best friends at the time and I was with her at the hospital when her mom passed. She moved away shortly afterwards and we've lost touch over the years, with the occasional update or chance meeting. To see her with her own daughter, a mom herself now, well, neither my brain or my heart knew quite what to do with that, beyond smile. Wide.

It's not like it's the first time I've been to a wedding or been friends with someone who had a baby, but for the most part, the people I know who've done these things were either not people I knew particularly well, or they were suitably beyond me in years. Last time I checked, my friends and I were all still pretty much adolescents.

With my own impending leap into adulthood, in the form of the great cohabitation caper, set to commence in four days (thanks again for all of your wonderful advice!), I'm beginning to wonder, is this what being a grownup feels like?


amindinmotown said...

I definitely had that Barbie, and somewhat recall trying to make the rollerblades spark. I have a thing for fire... =/

I wish I knew how to be a grownup, but I think I'm finally starting to understand it when adults say they don't see themselves as older. It's shocking to me when someone I've known since grade school or freshman year of high school gets married, has a baby. I guess I still see "us" together as kids though we're all adults now. It's weird. I don't think I'll ever *feel* older sometimes, so when "adult" things happen, it's baffling.

That might not make sense. Sorry if it doesn't.

Mari said...

Yup, you always kind of feel like you are faking it, and when are you going to get caught?
These days, I am shocked at how old I am to young people, because in my head I am always in my late 20's!
I am bummed that I never got to see the rollerblading Barbie that made sparks!

I have a bubbles post today too.

and ADD, apparently!

Mr. Apron said...

This is absolutely what being a grown up feels like-- in that it feels like being happy and warm for other people. Being a 20something is that liminal, tenuous state where you go from only being happy and warm about yourself to genuinely feeling it for others who are growing up around you.

Andhari said...

I think you leave a grown up life, when you start doing things and taking care of yourself. And cohabitation? Total grown up thing too. Ipersonally still stall it.

bard said...

I'll let you know what being a grownup feels like as soon as I get there.

mieletcannelle said...

It's funny, I went through what you were describing.. a friend who's parents passed away, a strange wedding invite, my best friend who is now a mother of two and a wife.. I don't know babe. There is the sociological answer that says adulthood is being further delayed for various reasons.. and there is part of me that thinks we all just fake it till we make it. I'm with the latter. ;-)