Earlier this week, I experienced the moment that finally made me feel like an adult. I mean, sure, I am 39 years old and a mother to two boys. Also, I am engaged, work full-time and attend school full-time. I own a home and a car and manage to keep my finances in order.
Yet, until earlier this week, I believe there was still a part of me that was clinging to a shred of the innocence of youth.
My mom has two daughters, of which I am the youngest. My sister is seven years older than me and has always been the one to handle emergency situations. As the baby of the family, I have never had much responsibility placed on my shoulders. And that suited me just fine. Little has been expected of me during any family crises.
My Mom is one of the toughest women that I know and it takes a great deal to slow her down. At 69 years old, her yard and house is much cleaner that mine; she works in both almost daily. I joke that she has an old school work ethic that I just will never possess.
Recently though, she’s been having some medical issues that have forced her to slow down, even if just a fraction. This past Tuesday, after a medical procedure, she began to have intense pain. My sister was honeymooning in Ireland, so it was up to me to tend to my mom. My youngest son and I ended up spending almost the entire night in the hospital emergency room, watching my mom cry in pain. The reality of the situation was quite sobering.
Suddenly, I realized that I was not a little girl anymore. As a single woman who is advancing in age, my mom may require more care in the coming years. This falls on both my sister and myself. I can no longer sit idly by and let someone else do all of the heavy lifting.
In the emergency room, my mom kept apologizing for keeping me up all night when I had to work early the next day. All I could say to her was that she didn’t have to apologize. But, what she doesn’t know is that I owe her. She tended to me through three child births, an open appendectomy that almost took my life and numerous smaller ailments. It’s my turn now to take care of her, it’s time to be an adult.
Have you ever faced a moment where you suddenly felt like an adult? Have you taken care of a sick parent?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Margie Bryant of Arkansas, USA. She can be found on Twitter @TheHunnyB.
Photo credit to the author.
To me “adults” are people who are 20 years older than me! So, when I was 10 I considered 30 yr olds to be adults but now that I’m over 40, the adults in my life are over 60! 😛
For the first time this year, my aunt actually asked me to help her after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like your mom, she’s the toughest lady I know and is ALWAYS the first one to volunteer to help anyone at any time. She also kept on saying “sorry” for having had to ask me, but I kept telling her that I was GLAD she asked me, because I can NEVER repay her for all her help through the years!
I’m glad to be able to say that she’s recovering well! 🙂
This is a lovely post that many of us can relate to I’m sure. I’m fast approaching 39 myself and I do still feel quite young. I’ve not had to take on a major responsibility like you, however, every day motherhood forces me to make the ‘adult decision’ and I think of my mother often at these times. I understand more now why made certain choices in her life. She’s still alive but we are countries apart thank heavens for SKYPE! Thanks for sharing your story.
I hope your mother is doing better and gets well soon!
There was a time a few years back where we were playing basketball in my parent’s driveway, and my dad wiped out and fell hard. I rushed to the phone, called 911, and do you know what comes out of my mouth?? “Man Down! Man Down! We have a man down!” Yep. In a panic, that’s what came out.
I think the 911 operator thought it was a shooting. Needless to say, the ambulance came and we followed my dad to the hospital where he had a bad break to his arm.
I think you seem to have things in better control there!
I hope your mom is feeling better! She sounds like she’s an amazing lady. As the oldest child in my family I often wonder what will be my role when the time comes to be there for my parents. I don’t want to grow up! I want healthy thriving parents and fun loving grandparents for as long as it is possible!
Wishing your mom will feel better soon. It’s very touching when they keep thinking about us even when they’re the one that needs us.
I’ve done this before last year when both my parents got sick with just weeks apart.
You are a wonderful daughter, Margie.
Touching post Margie. Hope your mom is feeling better soon. My husband’s father has not been doing so well over the past year. It’s tough to transition (usually on the spot) from interacting with independent parents, to ones that need you more. There are ups and there are downs, but like you said, I feel that we owe them after all they have done to help us become the adults we are today. Wishing you all the best.
I haven’t had to take care of my parents yet. They are both pretty young, but I am realizing that since they don’t take care of themselves, that day may approach sooner than any of us are ready. I helped minimally with my grandma. I would stop by and see her in the nursing home on the days I got off work early and plead with her to eat or to participate in activities. She was always so social, I think she would have recovered much better had she been willing to meet people.
I am glad you are able to be there and are willing to help. I am a medication aide in facility that has skilled and long term care. I have seen so many family members trying to take care of their parents alone and they are all so drained. Mentally, physically, emotionally. Caregiving is hard, but you are right, she cared for you. She deserves having both of you in her corner.
I hope your mum is well on the road to recovery now. I don’t know if I’m an adult yet…I have the marriage, I have the kids, I have the mortgage but no stationwagon. For a long time I figured as long as I hold out on that one, I was still a kid. But I’ve just come out of the baby-haze for the final time and am really assessing what I want to do with ACT 2 of my life – I guess that means I’m growing-up.