I always wondered what being an adult would feel like. I kept playing a never-ending game of guessing what I would feel like when I really grew up. I also kept guessing when I would grow up.
My first musing of this kind occurred when I was 9, and I coveted my mother’s pretty handbag.
“You like it?” My Mom asked me, smiling. I grinned. “Yep!”
“Well then, I’ll keep this safe and give it to you when you grow up.”
That of course, led to infinite impatience and the question – when will I grow up?
When in my fifth grade, I decided that I’ll have grown up when I’d reach the 10th grade. In a 5th grader’s eyes, the 10th graders were unruly beasts and a sight to behold. I took one look at their towering heights and exuding confidence and set the bar for being grown up. Then one day I did reach the 10th grade and was so utterly disappointed in the not-really-grown-up-me. Then I wondered, 12th maybe?
That year – my 12th grade – passed away in mayhem, the last year of my school life and I spent more time panting in exhaustion than feeling grown up.
College – it has to be in college, I decided in sheer desperation. On the first day to college, while almost everyone in the bus were still lamenting not making it to the IITs, I was busy anticipating changes in myself. And in 3 days I was back to my old ways with my new friends, playing pranks, monkeying around and being as immature as possible. I then let go of that childhood question with a slight pang of regret and a philosophical shrug, and decided – I’ll grow up when it’s time.
And then yesterday, it happened. My Mom had misplaced her stuff, and I offered to help search for it which led to a treasure hunt among all her things. And I unearthed the handbag, the leather slightly dull yet the golden buckles and buttons gleaming like ever.
“Can I take this, Mom?” I blurted out, clutching the bag tightly in my grasp and waiting for her reply as if my life depended on it.
“Sure, take it.” Mom replied, pausing her digging and searching to smile at me.
All those old musings suddenly played in my mind like an old reel freed from its shackles. I’d felt I was suspended in time ageing but never really growing up and then all of a sudden I’d woken up to find myself slightly grown up, slightly mature.
It is my first inheritance – the first one that counts. My Mom believed I had grown up, and thus I felt that I did. And I’m the happiest person in the world… 🙂