One day last year, my English teacher somehow managed to calm us down enough to tell us how much she loved our class. I don’t remember what motivated her to do this; maybe she’d told us how irresponsible we were the day before and wanted to apologize, or maybe she was planning to give us some monster-sized assignment. Whatever the reason, she spent twenty minutes telling us what a great group of people we were and how much she enjoyed us. One thing really stuck in my memory; she told us how her favorite grade to teach is tenth, because sophomores “have one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood.” She then went on to tell us that during the summer we were going to pull that foot out of childhood and would inevitably come back, not only as juniors, but as adults.
This came as a rather scary concept. I’ve always prided myself on doing crazy, childish things, and I wasn’t ready to be an adult yet, or ever for that matter. My entire summer was spent dreading the moment when my foot would come down in adulthood, so to speak.
And yet, it never quite happened. I’m still a kid, from what I can tell. I still sleep with a teddy bear, love Sleeping Beauty’s carousel at Disneyland, and can spend hours in FAO Schwartz playing a mini set of bongo drums with Elmo.
So what was that English teacher talking about? I finally know. Despite my ever-reigning love for cartoons and Super Mario World, my outlook on life seems to have changed. With a little thought, it’s easy to differentiate between a good thing to do, like exercise, and what isn’t so good, like depending solely on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, gummy worms, and orange soda for nourishment. Hey Mom! Mom! Look at me! Look over here Mom! I’m responsible!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m actually prepared to go out into the world yet. There’s no need to cook for myself or do my own laundry as long as my parents are still willing to do it for me. But at least, if I need to take care of myself, I’ll have a general idea of what to do. And that’s a good feeling.
So if this is what it means to “have both feet in adulthood,” then bring it on! This lifestyle is definitely not too hard to handle for the next two years. Being an adult isn’t that bad after all.
Now if you’ll excuse me, “Alvin and the Chipmunks” is on.