[Author’s note: So, I haven’t posted in, like, months. I fell out of the habit! But it’s because I fell into another habit that has consumed me. I have an admission: I’m writing a book. Two books, actually. Aaack, I can’t believe I said that out loud! But I have a lot of non-book things that I’ve been wanting to write about lately. So if you can forgive me for my absence, I’ll do my best to publish something every Wednesday. Do we have a deal? Ok, great.–Angie]
So here’s what I’m thinking about these days. Maybe it has something to do with the novel I’m writing. The main character is in high school. As I draw from my own high school experiences, I realize that the last two years of high school, or thereabouts, are part of the continuum of my adulthood.
Let me explain. When I remember my much younger self, it’s almost like I’m remembering a dream. I experienced that life as a version of myself, but not really the same self that I am now. Sometime around junior year, though, things shifted. After that, the events of my life happened to present-day me, just somewhere else along the continuum.
If I think back to the events of those years, starting around 16-ish , they aren’t sort of fuzzy and separated. They aren’t like a rapidly vanishing dream lost in the morning. The events of those years aren’t amusing stories told by a detached observer. No. With enough effort, I could still go back to Milton High School, and it’d still be me. If you asked me to go back and be second grade me? I couldn’t do it without a script. Not even freshman year me. Somewhere between 14 and 16, a seismic shift occurred.
The best metaphor I can come up with is: I exited the roads of childhood and merged into the adult highway. The adult highway hasn’t been a straight shot in any way. But it’s the been the same “me” road the whole time.
And here’s what’s really creeping me out. My older daughter is rapidly approaching her own adulthood exit ramp. She won’t notice anything at the time. I sure didn’t. But very soon, in the next few years, she’ll shift into a version of herself that’ll connect seamlessly with her adult version. And that adult version won’t belong to me in the same way that the childhood version did.
This, more than the first day of high school and first romances and driving, will make me sad. And we won’t even notice it happening until well after she’s merged and joined the rush on the adult lane.
3 thoughts on “Exit Lane To Adulthood”
Excellent essay. Personally, I have no idea when I started shifting lanes. Hopefully before I got married at age 22.
Counterpoint. I clearly understand your fear of the future loss as kids merge into the “adult lane”. However, at least in my experience, I have truly enjoyed knowing my “kids'” as adults. In some was it is my favorite part of their lives. They do grow up. they do move away. They do forge new lives, parts of which you will know (happily) nothing about. But then they will return, at least metaphorically, as their adult selves and you will experience the wonderful gift of watching them lead their adult lives, both the successes and the failures. And, I promise you, unless you or they really screw things up you will still be part of their lives, sharing some of the difficulties and many of the joys.
Peace my friend, and keep writing. You are really good at it.
On Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 12:16 PM Voices From the Backseat wrote:
> voicesfromthebackseat posted: “[Author’s note: So, I haven’t posted in, > like, months. I fell out of the habit! But it’s because I fell into > another habit that has consumed me. I have an admission: I’m writing a > book. Two books, actually. Aaack, I can’t believe I said that out lo” >
Oh how I can relate to this post. Just this week my household shifted from two drivers to four, in fact. So glad you are writing again—and working on larger things.
Aww, Bill, thanks for the wise words. You’re always good for a wise comment, sure to bring tears to my eyes! I’m glad to county you as a friend.