I’m used to being an adult in the sense that 9 months out of the year, I live at least sort of on my own, and am in charge of taking care of myself. But I’m not used to being accountable for anyone else – sure, when I’m at home I’ll run my brother to a friend’s house or pick him up from school if my parents ask me to, but it’s really just filling in the gaps of what my parents do so well.
This week, my parents went out of town. They visited Savannah, Georgia – which they said was amazing, and that I would love it. Not the most helpful thing when I already forever want to travel, but I’m adding it to my long list of places to go.
Them being gone meant I got to play house for a week, which was both more fun and more difficult than I anticipated. A couple thoughts from the week:
- The mornings are hard. I was the first one up every morning – and while I do enjoy being up early, I don’t exactly like the process of getting up. As the week went on, it got harder to get up the motivation to wake up/make breakfast for my brother/act reasonably cheery. Plus, my brother was a little less verbally appreciative of things in the morning – which was perfectly understandable, but it made it more difficult for me to feel motivated to do nice things like cook a nice breakfast or play fun music on the way to school.
- Cooking is a wonderful way to de-stress in the evenings. I know that for a lot of people, cooking ends up being a chore. I may feel more like that after years of cooking for myself/my family, but cooking is a really nice way for me to wind-down and get my mind off of whatever else is going on. I have done a lot of baking in the past – and I still absolutely love baking – but cooking is definitely growing on me. Plus, at the end of the actual activity of cooking – you have dinner! Seems like a win-win.
- Being a parent/taking care of kids requires a great deal of selflessness. I try pretty hard not to be selfish, and I think that for the most part, for being 19, I do an acceptable job. I still have a lot to learn on that front though, and there are definitely times when it’s hard for me to get outside of my own little world. Even just being accountable for my brother for a week made me realize how much further I have to go on that front. I’m used to operating on my own schedule – meals, social time, etc – I do it whenever works for me, without having to consider others all that much. My brother also does several different activities in the evenings, meaning I have to chauffeur him around. You have to be willing to do things for your kid even when it’s the last thing you want to do – and without being bitter or frustrated about it. On the flip side, when you do get the chance to do something special, watching someone else get to enjoy and appreciate it is incredibly rewarding.
Overall, I’m glad this week happened – on the one hand, I’m kind of exhausted now from waking up at 6:30 every morning. But it was a really good experience for me. It definitely made me appreciate everything that my parents do. It gave me the first taste of the fun things about having a house/family/life beyond college, but it also reminded me not to rush into all that too quickly. I’ve got a lot of work to do before then.