Monday, July 20, 2009

When did I get all growed up?

Five years ago, when I was young and incredibly smug, I fell madly in love. With my husband.

Alright, so I wouldn't say that we fell madly in love. Mark and Me? We aren't really the fall in love madly types. It was more like, "Oh, there you are! I've been looking all over for you!" It was all just very...easy. It was a perfect fit and really didn't require any effort. It's still kind of like that for us.

At the time, I was working as a banker (read: bank sales slave), and I hated it. I think that it takes a crazy person to enjoy working in sales. And while I am crazy, I am not that particular flavor of crazy. So I was applying for jobs and having all kinds of luck.

Somehow I had two job offers at the exact same time. That does not mean that I am awesome, that just means that I have a generic business degree and am qualified for a slew of entry-level jobs.

But. Two job offers all the same. One paid more than the other, but I just had a gut feeling about the latter. So I took the job with a lesser salary because it felt like a better fit.

Five years later, I'm still with that company. And while my self-indulgent, irresponsible 24 year old self would have never guessed that her gut would lead her in a direction that was SO RIGHT? My 29 year old, jaded, more grown up yet still feeling like a kid self is glad that she made the right decision.

It never occurred to me back then to check my insurance for an infertility rider - nor did I know such a thing even existed, because hello?! That would never apply to me anyway. Yet, luck would have it that I took this job at a company that is forward-thinking enough to purchase an infertility/IVF rider in a state that does not mandate such coverage.

Total dumb luck.

I was thinking about this during an hour-long car ride. Just me and a sweet, sleeping Livi. On our way home from breakfast and shopping with a friend, during which Olivia was sweet and charming and all heart melty. All the events that had to line up for her to be here - it's amazing.

It seems strange that I'm old enough now to start seeing how my life decisions have caused a chain of events that define the way things are for us now.

What's weird is that I still feel like a "kid." My house, my mortgage, my job, my baybee, all of my responsibilities - it all just feels like I'm living a life of someone much older. When I see old high school acquaintences on Facebook, I automatically think: Wow! He/she is married, and has kids, has an awesome job. Like those people are frozen in my mind as immature kids who flung pudding at cars or skipped class to go to the Hot Dog Shop.

Like my accomplishments are amazing feats: tricking a fantastic man into marrying me and agreeing to reproduce with me. How could anyone manage to accomplish these things? HA!

It seems like one day I woke up and realized that I am a grown up - which is awesome sometimes but sometimes it also sucks an amazing amount of ass. And everyone else I know? Is grown up too! Some of us are better at it than others, but we are all adults now. For some reason it just takes me by surprise.

I wouldn't say that I am insecure as a parent. I'm figuring it all out. But I see other moms, and the seem so much more...mature? No. More...capable, maybe? Like, they would know what to say when their child asks, "Mommy, what is sex?"

(My answer: It's bad, is what it is. Yucky!)

(Actually, that phrase could be used to answer a long list of inquiries - balls, penis, vagina, the tax system, the word panties? Bad. Yucky.)

And Olivia is growing up, too. It's like one day she doesn't do something, and then one day she wakes up and all of a sudden has this cool new skill. And that sounds stupid, like saying that you found something in the last place you looked. But sometimes I just think about the little, floppy, helpless newborn that we brought home and wonder, where did she go?

Thinking about the big impact that these small decisions have had makes me nervous. Will I screw up some small thing? How will I know the right moves to make now that I realize how big of an impact something can have?

Last night, we spent at least two hours making Olivia belly laugh.
One of my finer moments as a grown-up. Hands down.


~Jess said...

I still have a really hard time thinking of myself as an adult. I'm not old enough or something.

Malloryn said...

Awww, what a great picture! :)

It's amazing really, when you think back to how some decisions you've made totally changed your life. Sometimes I wish I could bottle up some of the courage I had at 25!!

calliope said...

oh belly laughs!!
And happy Grown Up Awareness Day. meh

Amy said...

I know exactly how you feel. I still marvel at the fact that I have a daughter...when I feel like a kid myself!

And I want the little peanut that I brought home from the hospital back too! My baby rolled over for the first time yesterday!

Carrie said...

I totally think making babies laugh is the BEST time spent. Ever! My daughter is three and when I do something that makes her laugh, I keep doing it until she looks at me like, "That was funny five minutes ago."

So glad you are enjoying your precious girl!

uncomplicateme said...

I think sweet Livi is your BEST accomplishment as a grown up. If my vote counts. And I think it does. :)

Growing up sucks, but then those babies smile at us, we melt, and things are ok again.

Becca said...

I know exactly what you mean! I went to the picnic at my 10 year high school reunion with my two kids and felt kind of weird, like I was still in high school or something, but everyone else had kids too!

Jaci said...

Hot Dog Shoppe. (Right? I can't remember now. I know there is an E in there somewhere.)

Great. Now I totally want cheddar chili fries and a malt.

Candice said...

I SO love this post. Not as funny as the usual stuff, but so real. I feel the same way, and I couldn't agree more that loving on our babies and making them laugh is the best way to pass the time. Pretty soon, they'll be all "growed up" too!

~*Kara*~ said...

Aww! Nothing better than belly laughs!!

I also ask myself everyday, well, almost everyday how did I get to be 29, with two kids, and a husband. I still feel like I need to ask my mom permission for things. I would like a pause button please!

Aunt Becky said...

You know what? I kind of like being a grown up most days.

Parsing Nonsense said...

Oh my gosh, I hate the "p" word (for underwear) too! I've never met anyone else who has an issue with that word, even though it's a horrible word.

Being a grown-up is all a state of mind, I think. I still feel like a kid even though I've been married four years, own a house, and have a baby on the way. I just keep thinking my inner-kidness will just make sure me and my offspring get along great some day :)

Mrs. Higrens said...

Very awesome post. And an even awesomer baby!

PJ said...

Ah, laughter is good for the soul. Wishing you lots more of those nights. :)

Loretta said...

I feel the same way. Despite having a job, being married, and paying my bills I still feel like a kid.

Stacy Woodruff said...

Jen, you made me get all weepy. Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones, but I feel pretty much exactly the same way. Especially the bit about "tricking a fantastic man into marrying me and agreeing to reproduce with me." How I managed to pull that off, I have no idea, but dear God did I hit the jackpot on that one. I also took a lower paying job, but wound up with benefits that at least covered part of the fertility treatments, and as a result I am 37 weeks pregnant today. But I still feel like a kid playing dress-up in my Mom's clothes. I'm about to have a baby, for crying out loud. I'll be 26 on Sunday, but it really doesn't feel like it. Where did the time go? Oh well. Your baby is adorable, by the way.

Caden said...

I asked my grandma how old she felt when she was very 90. She told me she always felt 25. It's been 9 years since she passed away (at 97!!) but I always think of that. She was born in 1903, passed in 2000 and never felt older than 25. It's just a number.

Sandy said...

Ah-men sista! Oscar-roo (who is Livi's birthday twin, sorta) is advancing so fast I can't handle it. Saw some video tape of him at a week old recently and bawled my eyes out. Where did ma baby GO?

Ok, LOVE the baby belly laughs. They are like my heroin.

Jen said...

Hi Jen,

Jen here, long time reader- and now I've just linked your blog over on mine- hope that's ok! Love your writing style- and your new baybee is adorable!

Jane said...

Love this post! I feel the same way. It's amazing that someone calls me mommy when I feel just like a kid myself!

Shauna said...

such a nice post! i feel the same was and was thinking about the "frozen in time" phenomenon just the other day when I was looking thru my high school friends facebook pics of all their kids! did all that happen???
i know what you mean about the belly laughs though.....andy TOTALLY made my day today when I got home from work. He was lying in his pack and play and I was listening to my husband tell me how fussy and whiny he had been all day for himself and the sitter.....but then Andy looked over at me and his eyes sparkled and he started giggling and cooing.......OMG, he did that the whole night with me and I even had to take him for baby shots. I love my boy.....

KristenWiley said...

So I feel the same way at times, and also feel like we have too much goofy fun to be grown-ups as well. But my biggest issue is that I am 27, married, and trying for children.... and I feel like my dad is going to yell at my husband for getting me knocked up!!