But I love them and the children they freeze in words, even as time continues to march on.
I’m on the tail-end of their living under my roof and I still feel like I’m faking my way through parenthood. In two blinks, they will be gone.
(Unless they’re like me and move back home after college and stay until their father gently ‘encourages’ them to leave.)
So. When will I begin to feel like a real adult?
On July 1st, my son hit a milestone, having been a licensed driver for a full year.
His provisional license has been converted to …umm…I am not sure what it’s called now. Besides scary. The rules and regulations governing a BRAND NEW Uber Employee have been lifted. Jack can legally squire others in a car and he’s been freed by law from a driving curfew.
These luxuries were prohibited in his first twelve months behind the wheel. Lawmakers, in their wisdom, knew that becoming a licensed driver is a life and death responsibility. So, they made the boy ease into it.
This got me thinking about the roles I’ve taken on or had thrust upon me over the years—important roles like Teacher, Wife, Mother.
One day I was not teaching, wife-ing or parenting. The next day, I was.
Without a twelve-month probationary period.
Perhaps this is why I still feel provisional…as a person.
Before jumping into our pool, my nephew Riley would stand, toes at the edge, and shout, “Best way to get used to it!” before hurling his entire body into the deep end.
I, on the other hand, lingered on the steps, the water’s chill raising goose bumps on my skin. To this day, I need time to adjust, to wade slowly into a fresh change of environment.
Hot to cold, dry to wet. Alone to….crowded.
Sometimes, however, we cannot inch into our circumstances.
The principal hands you keys to a new classroom. An officiant hands you a marriage license. A doctor hands you an infant.
Good luck. Goodbye.
Baby Jack was wailing as we left the hospital and I remember thinking, “They won’t let us go! It’s obvious I don’t know what I’m doing!”
The nurse wheeled me and my squalling newborn out the door, sending us both on our way. No practice. No restrictions. I simply had to do it.
Every day. Hour by hour. And when the minutes dragged, I cursed our lying clock.
Best way to get used to it!
I’ve been married for almost 18 years. Parenting for 17. Writing since I could hold a crayon. Isn’t it time to stop believing I’m provisional?
Even Pinocchio became flesh and blood, eventually.
I am a wife. A mother. A writer.
Stumbling and staggering to my feet, again and again, I wait for the day when all of this feels real.