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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Adulthood (07/30/09)

TITLE: Growing, Growing, Grown
By Terry Atchison


When I was kid, growing up in the fifties and sixties, one of my dreams was to arrive at adulthood. I was always thinking of how good it would be the day that I would be accepted by the older folk as a grown man. Well, that never really happened, because it seems that all the older folk still call me son, or by one of my childhood nicknames. To make things worse, I was the “baby”, with two older sisters. My father, even to this day, introduces me as his “bouncing baby boy. I am fifty-nine, and he is eighty-six. He still thinks of me as being a kid and now I accept that as a compliment.

I remember the first time I was called “sir” by a young man. I was twenty-four at the time. My wife and me were coming out of a store and I held the door open for some teens. One of the kids said “Thank you, sir.” That really shocked me, because I still thought of myself as a teen too. I mumbled “Thank you, sir.” over and over again as we walked to the car. Then reality set in. Those years are gone now. They wouldn't be back. I was beginning another level along the road to adulthood.

The other levels of adulthood have come and gone now. I am at last a grandfather. God blessed me with a rich life that I mostly passed in France. Many different Mediterranean cultures shaped my “coming of age”. My maturing was influenced by the “old school” mentality of respect of others and knowing right from wrong. Family was, and still is, a cherished commodity where I grew. Religion and a strong belief in God was the foundation for my family.

Today, with my fifty-nine years, (and a-half, which becomes important to point out as we once did when we were children) and a little more wisdom, I smile at the milestones and events leading up to my still elusive adulthood.

I have always told friends and family that my mind will always be twenty-one and my body will just have to concur. Well, it tries. God has blessed me with a healthy body, but as the years pass, I begin to question the mental faculties, as well as my true age. What happened?

When I attended my first high school reunion of forty years, I realized that all my friends had now grown into the over-the-middle-age adults. They all were still recognizable by their own outstanding traits of their youth, but so many seemed so very mature. “Old people”, we used to call them. Of course they all looked and acted older too, except for me.

Now that my children are grown, and I am a grandfather of a beautiful little Lea, I reflect on the kid that I was. (am) Do we ever really attain adulthood? Or, could it be that we age, mature, only to become children again? I believe that adulthood is just a passage leading back to childhood. And if you can't understand that, well then, go fly a kite.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jackie Wilson08/06/09
This was a delightful entry! And I am old enough to know exactly where you're coming from!