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Our parents always think of us as their little children, I'm sure that when I'm 40 and have a developed family of my own my parents will still think of me as their child. The memories of my childhood that they hold will fade a little as time goes by, but the feelings of affection and possession will always be there.

Over the years though, parents tend to give way, they loosen their hold on their children and let them out on their own, and then at some point, they acknowledge the fact that you are mature, that you are grown up. I don't think that everyone can pinpoint the exact moment when they realise that their parents have accepted that their child need not be guarded every moment of the day.... I do....

  I would rush downstairs, 10 minutes late and searching for my wallet or phone. My dad would be sitting in the lounge watching TV, and as I hurried towards the door he would call out and halt me..

Him: Who's party is this again?
Me: It's Paul's 16th birthday...
Him: Is he the tall guy? Kind of goofy looking?
Me: No, that’s Travis. Paul is the shortish guy with blonde hair and glasses.
Him: Aah yes, Smith? Is that his name?
Me: Yeah
Him: So.... Are there going to be girls at this party?
Me: Probably not...

This was the usual pre-party conversation, him checking up, gauging the social progress of my group as we all matured, god knows what would have happened if he had heard something that he hadn't liked, probably the oft-mentioned by seemingly never-given 'talk'.

Soon the answers changed from Probably Not to Maybe... from Maybe to Possibly...

And then he stopped asking.

He didn't stop asking because I told him it was none of his business, or because he knew that there were going to be girl's in attendance... that’s not a guaranteed thing even now.. I believe that he stopped asking because he knew he could trust me.. and that I had grown up.

Something just isn't right. I'm not an adult, am I?

I'm married, for one. Doesn't that automatically put me in the adult category? I'm responsible for my own actions. If I break the law, I pay the fine; I go to jail. I no longer rely on my parents for such defenses. Do these things make me an adult?

I guess I always expected to reach a point in life where there was a definitive transition from adolescence to adulthood. A defining moment, if you will. I mean, it happened when I transitioned into adolescence from childhood; I got my pubes, now I'm an adolescent. Easy peasy Japanesey. No such luck with the adult thing.

I would have even accepted a sudden realization that adulthood had sneaked up on me over a longer period of time when I was ignorant its conniving treachery. But still, no such luck. I'm still waiting on that realization, even after much self-examination. I'm still not an adult in the sense that I've always perceived adults in my mind. Don't take me wrong, I'm no different than any of the other adults I know. I have a mortgage. I own a car. I have a real job, with benefits. I pay insurance and taxes. But still, something's different. There's still something there separating me from the likes of my Mom or Dad, my teachers of old. Something intangible, but definitely perceptible.

Adults are old. Adults don't know how to have fun. Adults worry. Adults get embarrassed when you misbehave in Wal-Mart. Adults go to bed before 2am. Adults are too scared to jump. Adults are too tired to play. Adults are a whole score of things that I'm not.

I guess I'm beginning to discover that "adult" is only a mystical label that children give their parents. Sure, I have a job and bills to pay, places to be; but I get the feeling that even when I'm ninety, I won't feel "grownup". I haven't changed much since high school, I'm still the adventurous free spirit with a twisted sense of humor that I always was.

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