Thursday, April 4, 2013

That time already?

I think I might have reached that age. The age when I'm completely an adult.

I don't feel like an adult. I still react to situations like I'm 16 - get ridiculously smug if I'm asked for my ID when buying alcohol, can't believe that if I don't clear up after me, nobody else will.
But I've noticed, of late, the ratio of blind enjoyment to harsh responsibility has changed and I can see - on some not too distant horizon - a day where I might boast about my age to a complete stranger in the post office (if I can still find a post office).

Today I phoned my sister - 8 years apart.
8 years that seemed a massive age gap when I was 5.
She aged 13, studious, tidy, with the miraculous ability to eat one single Mars bar over the space of three days if she chose.
Me wrestling to make my way to school, wearing with my brothers' oversize hand-me-down duffle-coat.

And then again at 13:
Me, all black eyeliner and jumbo cords (never stylish),  acned,  listening to my Blondie records - She at 21 - all Moody Blues and color co-ordinated and sophisticated.

Then I was 21  and still using black eyeliner. And my head was full of Brecht and cabaret and how to market a comedy double act, and she, at 29, happily married,  unassumingly caring for her young daughter whilst simultaneously striding forth in her career, like some feature on "power women" in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Decades later of similarities, differences, family parties, agreements, disagreements, births, bereavements,  successes, failures...time, I find myself in a place of new worries.  I call her today - tired of pressure, worn with sadness, old in spirit, but in my head, still way way too young.

"Some days I really wish Mum and Dad were here,"  I say.
"Me too," says she.

I am at that time where 8 years feels like nothing. Where differences become the same. Where I am grateful not just for what my parents were, but all they left behind.

I'm at that age.