Do we ever really grow up?

My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader, and often seems to find the right moment and right way to send me encouragement. Since I’ve been so far away, we email more than we used to, and a line from one of her recent emails prompted me to go dig up an old, old photo – one of my favorites.

DressUp

“I am so happy to know that beneath the sophisticated, world-traveled young lady is that little girl of yester years who loved to cuddle and walked around with my jacket hanging off your arms and my shoes flapping on your feet.”

This was me, many evenings when my mom got home from work. She’d be eager to remove the pumps she’d worn all day, and I’d be just as eager to put them on and follow her through the hallway, heels noisily flapping against the so-70s-it’s-hurting-my-eyes tile.

Not much has changed; my brother, still far more good-natured and socially likable than I, keeping a watchful and protective eye from a distance; myself, always eager to fit in with the grown-ups, too “smart” for my own good, ready to become a big girl, with big dreams, doing big things.

More than twenty years later, I’m still waiting to grow into these big-girl-shoes. Do we ever really grow up, or will it always feel a bit like we’re trying to trick ourselves into believing that we’re ready for the next stage to come?

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