Fish Kites

Fish Kites at MoBot's Japanese Festival

Fish Kites at MoBot’s Japanese Festival

How do you know if you have become an adult? To paraphrase Barack Obama, is it when you put away childish things? According to Alden Nowlan, “The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” These sage observations aside, I prefer a simpler realization; you wish you were a kid again.

September marks the end of summer, host for the seasons of endless childhood followed by childhood revisited. Its back-to-school regimen has always been a mile post for me on life’s journey from childhood to the grave. While still in school, each new school year marked another ratcheting up of the workload, a loss of playtime and another step towards adulthood. Not that work defines adulthood, because why else would we still need child labor laws.

One of the mile stone on the road to adulthood is the year when you stop adding a half to your age. Looking backward in life it is easier to see the transition from childhood to adulthood. Most 17 year olds know everything, while most 57 year olds think they still have a lot to learn. One clear sign of adulthood comes from Avis. When Avis no longer charges you a youth surcharge, man you have arrived.

This post is inspired by the answers to the question first posed in Quora. Quora is a crowd sourced / social media site where questions are first posed and then answered. It is both more intellectual and varied than Facebook, sorry friends. Here is an enumeration of a few of my favorite answers to the question, “How do you know if you have become an adult?”

  • When you realize that Tom of Tom and Jerry was the innocent one!
  • You go out to dinner with your parents and pick up the tab.
  • When you fall asleep on the couch and then wake up on the couch.
  • When learning becomes a choice.
  • When a younger person calls you Sir or Madame.
  • When you act more like a faucet than a bucket.

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