When you're younger, the difference in age of two years can seem like a lifetime. I remember distinctly thinking that the juniors and seniors when I was a freshman were the coolest people alive. They had all this world experience: they could drive; they had cell phones; they dated boys; they owned cars; they had freedom...I could go on forever. So, it's funny when you get older and realize the difference between a year or two is nothing in the grand scheme of life. A thirty-year-old and thirty-two-year-old are only different by way of their experiences and the lives they have lived...not the extra years. At twenty-nine, I am probably more mature than some forty-year-olds and at twenty-nine, I am also a lot less experienced than some twenty-five-year olds. It's our experiences, maturity, and accomplishments that define the differences in age, not the years on a calendar.
So when do you realize that? When do you start to change the way you look at people? For me*, two defining moments shaped the realization that my age on a piece of paper did not solely reflect who I was. The first was when Mr. Howard and I bought our first home. It was really the first time I felt like an adult. Sure a piece of paper told me I was an adult. I could vote. I could buy alcohol. I had a job. But it wasn't until I signed (in blood) ninety-four documents and signed over my first and second unborn children to the mortgage company in the event I couldn't pay, that I FELT like one. The second defining moment was when I had my first son. Having a baby, now meant that I lived for someone else. It meant that if I had to choose between my life and that of his, I would gladly choose to save his. For me*, it was the moment I not only felt like an adult, I actually felt "old"...not old as in old person who is in bed by 6pm, but old as in "Wow. She's a senior and I'm a freshman and she's so much older and cooler."
It's been so fun getting to re-learn and re-meet people that I automatically put on pedestals because of their age, or wrote off because they were "so much younger" than me. And the older I get, the more I realize how important it is to surround yourself with people who are at different stages in life.
In the middle of October Mr. Howard and I had an opportunity to spend some time with a friend from high school that I haven't seen probably since high school (she was a senior when I was a sophomore and she was oh-so-much cooler than me!). We had such a fun time - even if only for a little bit - and her daughter was so precious. I am so happy she has a best friend in Sacramento so we can hopefully sneak in a few more visits soon!
This one cracks me up below. Apparently we were deep in conversation!
Of course, now that Mr. Howard knows where she lives, he is obsessed with going to visit her next Halloween so we can schedule in a trip to Roloff Farms.
* To be clear, I am not saying that you have to own a home or have a baby to be an adult. It was just that for me, those were MY defining moments.