I’ve heard a number of parents say that they really realised they were grown up when they had children; a statement which of course makes me cringe. The thing is, I can’t imagine waiting until I had children – unless I had had them when I was still a teenager – to realise I was grown up, and I am sure my friends with and without kids would agree with me. So the last time I heard/read this, it got me wondering, “when did I realise I was grown up?”
- It might have been when I was lost in Bangkok when I was 17, and knew that I had no choice but to find my own way to my destination, and back to my house across the city.
- Or was it a year later, after my second term at university, when I was able to pay all my own bills, and never again needed to rely on my parents financially?
- Or was it several years later, when my mother had cancer, and for the first time I felt the switch of the care-giving relationship?
- Or maybe it was a few more years on (still not yet 30), when I first represented my country at an official international meeting in Vietnam, sitting behind the New Zealand flag (and between Netherlands and Norway – my friends Ron and Knut – ensuring we always had fun at those talks), reading a statement I had written on behalf of my government.