A few weeks ago, in the middle of watching "The Good Dinosaur," our living room suddenly went black. And by black I mean so dark I couldn't even see my children sitting right next to me.
My heart plummeted and my thoughts went dark, too, like Oh my gosh, what happened are we under attack is it just our house or are the neighbor's lights on I can't see anything what if there are monsters in the shadows...
At the same moment my kids clung to me, shouting, "Mommy, I can't see you! What happened? Why is it dark?"
Feeling their little arms wrapped around me, I realized I had to shut off my own overactive imagination and, for my children's sake, act like an adult.
It kind of made me miss the days when I had a bigger hand to hold, when someone older and wiser than me shushed my fears, tucked me safely and snuggly into bed, and turned the light off for me.
I may be 32 years old, but I have never felt the passage of the years. I can't pinpoint that moment when I ceased to be a child because so often I still feel like one, a little girl masquerading as a grown woman and the mother of three children.
When did I become an adult? When I turned 18? When I ventured away from home for the first time? When I bought my first car? When I got my own insurance and went to the dentist without my mom? When someone first referred to me as "ma'am" instead of "miss"? Or was it when the midwife placed Brown-Eyed Boy in my arms, when I became responsible for someone other than myself?
Or maybe pieces of my adult self formed through those experiences, one by one, instead of all at once.
In that case, I think my pieces are still being placed. Because though I am obviously an adult physically, mentally...I think I still have a lot of growing up to do.
That night when my kids and I were plunged into darkness, I squared my shoulders and put on a brave face. I grabbed their hands and led them--carefully--through our pitch-black toy-strewn living room, found a flashlight and lit some candles. As that flicker of light fought against the dark, I breathed a sigh of relief along with my children.
But I never let them see how scared I was. And, hey, that's part of being an adult, right?
Just like eating all the leftover frosting and watching My Little Pony.
Not that I'd know anything about that.
Still Growing Up,
The Brown-Eyed Girl