Monday, March 12, 2012

he ain't heavy, he's my father

I used to think that you became an adult when you started driving. 
Or voting. 
Or graduated college. 
Or got your first job.

Then I got married.

I learned that becoming an adult had something to do with making room for someone else’s feelings. Or happiness. Always taking it into consideration, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. You know, having to put someone else’s needs before yours sometimes.

And then Emily was born.

The first time I looked into her eyes, I got this overpowering realization– chilling, sobering, and exhilarating at the same time— that I was responsible for this helpless little life contained in this tightly bundled body and big innocent eyes. That becoming a parent, with all the bliss and the heartache that it entails, is when you really become an adult.

I spent this past weekend at the hospital with my dad. 
His frail body – once stylishly dressed, mighty and tall – clad in the awkward gown...
Brittle and old.
My dad.
My hero.

And there I was, his helpless child no more, now entertaining him with a game of backgammon and stories to ease his apprehension.

It suddenly dawned on me that you truly become an adult only when you start taking care of your own parent. And being responsible for this fragile person laying on the hospital bed, with fear in his eyes...

Being an adult sucks.

How about you? What was the moment that made you an adult?


At 3/12/12, 5:28 AM , Blogger Janiece said...

I'm sorry your Dad's ill. And yes, it's when you experience the role reversal of caring for you parent, or you're "orphaned" due to the death of your parent.

At 3/12/12, 3:31 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you Janiece. I couldn't begin to imagine the devastation of losing a parent.


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