Monday, December 3, 2018

Adulting 101: Your Parents Are Google.

Adulting is a verb right now.  I'm pretty sure that this version of  "adulting"  is the equivalent of "manning up", or "putting on your big girl panties".  Behaving in an appropriate manner in public, for example.  Making the difficult decision about whether to eat or pay the electric bill.  Talking to your children about sex without giggling.  Figuring out which end to put the diaper on.  Important, but life changing, information.

It used to be that kids learned these adulting secrets by watching their parents.  When moms stayed at home, back before electricity, her children got to see her perform a variety of tasks, such as cooking, household management, and childcare.  Dads, when they weren't at work, usually demonstrated basic lawn maintenance, the proper posture required for watching Sunday football, and how to change your own oil.  Theoretically, your parents should be preparing you to be an adult. When you hit that magic age where you move out on your own, it is expected that you will be able to handle everything.

This is nothing but a baldfaced lie.

There are just too many concepts and ideas for parents to teach their children in a single lifetime. It's impossible to even anticipate all of the even remotely probable events that will happen in one lifetime.  The reality is that, no matter how old you may be, you still need the older generation.  I am in my 50s.  People ask me stuff all the time, and I know the answers.  If you have a child in need of special education, I'm the woman to ask.  If you're interested in obscure facts or historical events, I'm the go-to.  I know way more about serial killers than is probably normal.  I can also tell you if you need to go see a doctor for various random ailments.  Just don't ask me which settings on the washer will remove ring-around-the-collar. I don't even know what that is.

I STILL call my parents to ask them stuff.  Just last night, I sent my mom a very important text:

"Can you freeze ham*?"

I've called my mother many times, not to chat(we aren't a chatty family), but for many crises in my life:

"The recipe calls for one egg, but when I cracked the egg, there were two yolks.  What does that mean?"  

"How do I keep from setting the kitchen on fire?"

"Can the baby eat strawberries/watermelon/broccoli/whatever, or is he too young?" 

"Is there a way to clean baby poop out of the tub, or do we have to move?"

My dad is not exempt from these calls or texts, either:

"There's a snake over here, Dad.  Looks rattlesnake-ish, but no rattle.  Run, or pick it up and throw over the fence?"

"Hey Dad, which wrench do I use to turn off the water to the house? And do you know a good plumber?"

If you think about it a moment, our parents are exactly what Google and other companies are trying to market.  If Alexa not only told you the weather, but also reminded you to put on a jacket so you don't get sick, that would be my mom.  Or your mom. We will always want to ask our parents for the answers, in most cases, even when we are supposed to be "adults".  There's something comforting about being able to pick up the phone, and it is depressing to think that someday a parent won't be around to answer the phone or texts.   Maybe Google will one day offer an option, where you can have your mom's voice answer you instead of  Alexa.

Although MY mom's voice would also be telling me, unsolicited, that my house is a mess, and that I should dust the ceiling fans, fer cryin' out loud.   Adulting is hard, but we don't always have to do it all alone.  Call or text your parents. Ask them all those nagging questions about eggs, and ham, and home maintenance, that you think that you're supposed to know.  Heck, even ask them what ring-around-the-collar is.  It will make them feel needed, and you will learn something that may prove useful later, when your own children are calling to ask these same questions.

**For the twenty or so readers who are waiting for the answer, yes, you can freeze ham, and no, you don't have to double the recipe if there's two yolks in one egg. And Clorox cures a multitude of ills, apparently.   


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