Being a grown up

Growing up is weird.

When you’re little your parents clearly know everything. They’re never scared, they have all the answers, and know how to untie those knots you accidentally made in you shoe laces. When you have a nightmare, Dad gets next to you in bed and rubs your back until you fall back asleep. When you’re sick Mum stays up with you while you’re crying because your ear hurts. They are the end all be all of the world.

Then you get a little older. You realize that sometimes when Mum gets angry it’s really because she’s sad and scared. You realize that Dad doesn’t actually know everything, because he helped you get the wrong answer on your homework. Despite these imperfections, they are still incredible to you. You know that they still can take care of you.

And then you’ve graduated college, you don’t live with them anymore, and you have your own experiences and content knowledge. You can see them age, them and your grandparents, and you can help them with things that you never dreamed of. You can be a productive part of conversations, even providing answers for them. And all the while you can’t figure out why it all feels so weird. Something feels off. And then you realize…

It’s because suddenly they’re not the magical heroes they used to be. You’ve figured out the secret to adulthood, the secret they kept from you as long as they could: being a grown up doesn’t mean you’re never scared and know everything. It actually means being scared and not knowing a lot, but carrying on anyway.

Being a grown up is overrated.

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