I turned 30 yesterday. Yep, 30.
It’s a bit daunting. I’m not freaked out or anything, but I always associated 30 as being a real “grownup”.
In no way am I a young person any more. I’m just a person now. That is all well and good, it’s just a little… weird.
I don’t know that I’m ready for the weight of being an adult, I think to myself- and then Paris points out to me that I have a house with a mortgage, a decent job, a stable, loving relationship, a car, and a baby. So yeah, I guess I sort of got there without realizing it. I’ll be damned.
Over the past week I’ve gotten some amazing presents from my friends and family. My dear friend Christine got me trading cards with etchings of genetic mutations and oddities on them, Paris baked me an amazing cake, my dad gave me the antique Egyptian pharoh bookends I’ve been wheetling at him for since I was about ten plus a bunch of cool books, my uncle and his wife gave me the gold standard present (money!) plus a series of books by one of my favorite authors (Tim Powers), My grandmother gave me some money also, as well as some homemade dehydrated watermelon (!!)… Hunter gave me a wonderful drawing he did of Wesley, plus a really squishy love note that I’m going to keep forever and ever as well as Fable 3, and I bought myself a bottle of raspberry wine, and a bottle of loganberry wine. All in all a great birthday.
So I’m a grownup now, but I don’t have to be a grownup. It took me a long time to realize that being an adult doesn’t have to mean giving up all the things that you love- it’s just that most people seem to do just that, and I always kind of thought that it (not having any fun) was a prequisite for being responsible. Which is bs, of course. I remember asking my mother why she gave up oil painting when I was born, and she claimed it was becasue she was concerned that the lead based white paint would be bad for me. Well, that may have been true, but it was an excessive and unnecesarry sacrifice, and I think she was just making excuses for not having any inspiration, or for being depressed, or losing interest, or whatever. I felt kind of guilty about her not painting any longer for several years, until I realized that she could have started up again at any time, but didn’t. Which was her choice.
Anyway, I don’t feel any less inspired to do things that I find fun. I certainly don’t have as much time to do them- but I can make time for projects that I feel are really important, or I feel a really strong urge to do.
I also don’t feel the need to stop swearing and being offensive, or weird and geekey and artsy.
I don’t need to cover the world with foam pads and disinfectant. I see people doing this when they become parents quite often- and it irritates the hell out of me, becasue it’s so ingenuine. These are the type of people who have fun filled youths that give them up in favor of helicoptering over their kids with the kind of overprotective excess that leads to intense neurosis and a total inability to cope on their own for the child later in life.
It seems really important to me that one maintain one’s interests and weirdness quotient as one ages, to preserve mental health if nothing else. If one doesn’t have any outlets for frustration or rage or inspiration— well I think that’s where soccer moms come from.
Watering down the world, as it were- making everything blander and more harmless with the intention of protecting one’s child, but in the long run, destroying their development and capacity for coping with real life. Also, if you’re not doing things to keep your own brain stimulated, but rather just taking hyperinterest in your children, you will damage them, and possibly incite their resentment.
Anyway, Being a grownup and being a parent doesn’t have to mean putting aweay childish things, which I have zero intention of doing, ever. I will be engaging in highly childish things for the rest of my life I expect.
Related to this topic and my obviously opinionated stance on parenthood, here are two awesome blogs I love:
Also, Wesley’s been getting some more awesome presents, including a Ralph Lauren body-suit (!!HAHAHA!) and a handmade quilt (that has a POCKET sewn into it !!) from My aunt-in-law Donna. They were delivered by my uncle Eggy and my Grandma Rosemary when they came to visit and hang out with the little man for the first time this last Saturday. It was a delightful time, and Rosie seemd so nervous about holding the little fella, like she might break him at any moment. Eric modified The Police song “Walking on the Moon” to “Walking on My Mom” on the guitar, which Wesley seemed to fnd acceptible (I can’t tell yet if he actually LIKES anything, but you can sure as hell tell if he doesn’t, so I figure anything that doesn’t make him cry is at least ok with him, the exception to this is that he has just begun smiling back at me if I smile at him, which is AWESOME.)
So things are good, all in all.
Happy 30th birthday to me!