Suddenly, as it seems, my children are doing what might qualify as 'grown-up stuff' -- the stuff that no longer requires or relies on someone else's permission. How and when the line got crossed I'm not sure, but today I am noticing it.
Yesterday, my daughter, Olivia, called to say that she and her fiance, Rich, had decided to get married after the turn of the year. They plan to 'elope' to Fiji and get married there. Apparently there are travel packages that include nuptial services. The family situation -- by which I took her to mean Rich's family -- was too intricately fractious and fractured, so going to Fiji is more sensible and less fraying than staying home and enduring what they might prefer to enjoy. I joked with Oliv that I was insanely jealous of her going to Fiji before I had had the chance ... but basically I delighted in her delight. Twenty-five strikes me as a bit young for marriage, but any age can be too young or too old since no one can see into the future. I enjoyed being the applause on the applause-o-meter.
Today, Angus, my older son, begins a part-time job at the gym where he does weight-lifting. It was he who asked about job possibilities, he who went through a couple of days training and he who will be paid minimum wage to sit behind a counter, sweep floors, wash windows, etc. on weekends. The job does not live up to his computer studies in college but it offers a course in what I think of as real life ... doing something, almost anything, and learning to be responsible in a world that might otherwise be written off or scoffed at. His biceps and triceps will get some company in a stronger mind, however grudgingly won. There's time enough to learn the high-profile arrogance of those who think they deserve the silver spoon in their mouths. Meanwhile ... grown-up stuff ... and I applaud.
And Ives, my younger son, seems to have taken a shine to fishing, an activity that requires patience and a wide sky that takes no lessons from self-importance or wishful thinking. I am glad if he has found some good teacher and consents to learn ... all under the guise of the highly-overrated 'fun.' There is no way to catch a fish before you have caught the fish ... no way to un-catch a mild case of poison ivy. Little by little by little ... grown-up stuff. I am happy for him and ...
Strange to think that these were people who once had to eat their broccoli before they got dessert or were allowed to stay up only until 8:30 or grew resentful at the prospect of 'having' to do homework.
Of course there is no 'line' they crossed and yet still I wonder at what time and by what magic they crossed it.