Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Make Sure Santa Gets My Letter

I am participating in National Blog Posting Month November 2011 hosting by the BlogHer website.
So far I have been able to think of something to write about every day. 
Today I have decided to use the Wednesday, November 16, writing prompt: "What is the moment that you leave childhood and enter adulthood?" (Guest Post by Catherine Gildiner, author of After the Falls)

I'm not sure that there was a moment.  I think the process was so gradual that it was almost imperceptible.

I felt very grown up driving my father's big Buick for the first time, I could barely see over the steering wheel and my feet just about reached the gas and brake pedals.

When I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma, I felt that I was entering a new phase of my life  Anyway,  I think that's the message the commencement speaker was attempting to relay to me and my fellow graduates.

I started my first job right out of high school.  I worked with people of all different ages and backgrounds. I felt that I was their equal. It was the first time I called an older person by their first name instead of Mr. or Mrs.  I had my own car, I was earning a paycheck and I was helping with the family expenses.  Just another small step in the process of becoming an adult.

Perhaps it was when my grandmother, who was one of the most treasured people in my life, passed away.
I was 18 years old.  I was too upset to go to the funeral or wake.  I remember my uncle lecturing me about how Grandma would have wanted me to be there.  But I knew I didn't have to prove anything to her.  Her love for me was unconditional.  I always knew and understood that.  But I know a part of my childhood died along with her.

Just before my father and I started down the aisle on my wedding day, he leaned over to me and asked if I was ok.  I remember looking back at my Mom and Dad, as I drove away with my new husband.  Surely, symbolically, that must have been the moment.

But I think I can honestly stay I took the final step when I gave birth for the first time.  As I held my sweet little girl in my arms, I felt an overwhelming sense of proctectiveness towards this brand new life.
Yes, if I could or had to pick one moment, it would have to be that moment. 

When I see my one year old grandson point up to the sky as he spots a flock of geese, or when my seven year old grand daughter reminds her mother that she has to make sure Santa gets her letter, I am reminded of the wonderment of childhood, and that is something that should never be forgotten.

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