The other day, my 7-year-old daughter asked me some questions about homeownership: how it works, why it’s different than renting, and how we pay for it all.
Then we got to talking about work and how we make money from our jobs. She listened intently as I answered her questions about what I do when I’m writing, how my staring at the laptop is work and not just fun, and how it all ultimately puts food on our table.
She listened, nodded her head, and I saw little Christmas strand-sized lightbulbs flicker in her mind. And then she went back to playing with her LEGO.
And I wondered, how did I become this grown-up?
Kyle and I have traveled all over the world, moved countless times, signed tons of paperwork for all sorts of things, and have talked to lawyers, accountants, investors, doctors, insurance agents, car mechanics, upholsterers, drywall installers, therapists, and landscape professionals over the years.
And I still so often feel like a kid playing dress-up in my minivan. I’ve been married a decade, and I still get flashes of “Oh my goodness, I married Kyle Oxenreider,” as though we’re barely dating.
And of course, there’s that thing we as parents always go through—I look at my oldest, and am sure it was mere days ago that I carried her out of the hospital, shocked that they would let a pair of kids leave with a baby.
I love those Calvin and Hobbes comics, where the dad totally makes up answers to Calvin’s questions. The mom retorts with, “If you don’t know, just say you don’t know!” I feel this way so often… My kids look at me as one of the grownups of the family, and here I am, barely able to answer their questions about how, exactly, the earth revolves around the sun. Beats me.
I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m maturing. I’m a different person than when I married Kyle ten years ago; a complete 180 from the girl who had her first baby almost eight years ago. But so often, I still feel like that kid who just came inside from riding figure-eights with my bike out in the driveway. Not the one ladling the soup out of the pot.