This year we received a lovely Christmas card from some dear friends which talked about how it is their first Christmas together. Also, of course, it wished us a Merry Christmas. Absolutely adorable. It got me to thinking a little more about mine and Tom’s firsts. Christmas together, naturally. And we will get to see both sets of parents’ faces when they open the gifts we got them for the first time. Trying to get Tom to wait for the 25th to open his presents is one of the most difficult and exhausting enterprises I’ve ever had to take on. But I think it is worth it because he will get to open presents with the rest of the family.
Family. I’ve referred to him as family for such awhile now. But it really never sunk in until the holiday season rolled around. My parents have been referring to him, more or less, as their son-in-law since we got engaged. His mom has referred to me as her other daughter for about the same amount of time. It’s just so weird to think about that: some guy (and not just some guy) I met almost four years ago, just four years, has become so much a part of me and my family. He’s become an integral part of our lives. And they’re hoping for grandchildren soon. Both sides have told us they are so ready to be grandparents. In my experience, my grandparents didn’t like to be called “grandparents” because it made them feel old. But we are so accepted, so loved, that our families are excited to partake in the lives of our future children. My brother and sister-in-law often talk about how they’ll be as uncle and aunt. Mostly with humor, which only emphasizes their support. If they weren’t excited for us, I don’t think they’d mention it at all. Humor, in my dynamics with friends and family, has always been a form of sincerity. Teasing, poking at each other, wearing on the nerves. That’s what love is to me. And now to us.
It’s also the first time we’ve had close friends committing their lives to each other. And I believe that they will spend the rest of those lives together. Happy. With struggles, like any relationship, albeit unique in nature. But truly, sincerely, passionately in love. The fact that it’s happening so close to the time that Tom and I legally and religiously bound ourselves together proves something I’ve not really thought about before: we’re grown-ups. Officially. I’ve been called a grown-up or an adult before and always scoffed. “We live in a rental house, we have a kitten, we have starter jobs. We can’t possibly be adults.” But no, it’s the truth. We’re young adults. And it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’m no more mature today than I was when we got married. I thought marriage would be so much more serious. A different kind of fun. But I still wake Tom up and force him out of bed by tickling him or pinching or biting or spanking him. (Sorry, a little PG here, I think.) It comes as such a relief. I watch our friends together, binding their lives legally and spiritually, and they are also the same people they were before. Playing video games, the occasional party, etc. And they’re working, too.
Growing up, I’ve realized, is not the abandonment of one’s personality to suit this paradigm of maturity. There is still a need to find a balance, of course. One can’t drink heavily on nights before one has to go to work. One can’t skip work as one may have skipped class. But one can take days off to enjoy youth. One can come home at night and play video games, watch kid movies, even write blogs. One can work on doing things one always wanted to do before getting to be “too old.” I have not given up on the premise of this blog. In fact, I believe more in it now than I ever have before.
Thank you, friends, for helping me to realize that life doesn’t end at adulthood. 🙂