As the Grown Up

“But you as the older one should know better…”

I hated hearing this when I was younger. Like my feelings couldn’t get hurt because “you are the bigger one and she’s your little sister”. So what? I can’t get mad. I can’t hit her back? Why exactly should I allow her to mouth off to me and ignore me when I tell her to do something? I am the bigger one right? Yes, and I should take care of her and look out for her, but do nothing when she hurts me, which she does because she can and she always gets away with it.

*  *  *

Just now my father did something that I’m not finished thinking about yet. He and my younger sister do not have the best relationship in the world and hell has to freeze over before that child picks up the phone to call him. Well she called him. Just now he asked me when last I spoke to her, and told me that she left a voice-mail for him to call her back. I told him I didn’t know what it was about. He told me I should call her and ask what it is. … … … Well why doesn’t he call her back and find out? Wasn’t he the one who kept talking about how she never called him? I don’t want to be some kind of go-between for the two of them. And he’s the adult! What’s the deal? Just call the girl.

But then I remembered. He has feelings too. I can’t read his mind, so I don’t know specifically what they are, but he does have them, and they may have been hurt. Him being a grown up doesn’t mean he knows what to do about that.

*  *  *

As a grown up, there are things people should know and ways they should behave. But as people, there are things that go on inside of us, memories that we haven’t forgotten, feelings that have been hurt, dreams that have had to be discarded, hope that has been lost. All these things and more make us up and play a part in the decisions we make.

Grown up doesn’t mean perfect and it doesn’t mean full of knowledge and wisdom. Maybe more knowledge and wisdom than a younger person, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a lot. Grown up doesn’t mean one knows what to do. It doesn’t mean one has the answers.

*  *  *

I don’t even know what to call myself right now. I’m legally an adult but I depend on my parents. Though I’d love to be on my own because I just can’t be bothered, I don’t even think about that as something that will happen in the near future. No way. I’m not ready to abuse my health working to pay bills and buy food.

While I don’t consider myself a child, I’m not comfortable with the word “woman” in reference to myself. I don’t think I like the word “adult” either. “Grown up” also doesn’t fit.

When I was younger I wanted long life. Now I don’t want to grow anymore, and would very much like to go back a few years.

I don’t know when I will grow up. I hate that I have to.

I just wish we all realized that everyone has feelings, even those older than ourselves, and just the way that they can hurt us, we can hurt them.


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