Saturday, November 5, 2011

Parallel Parking, All Saints', and Signs of Adulthood

Sometimes, after I nail an amazingly small parallel park, I feel so exhilarated, like I should get out of the car, be handed a Oscar-like statue, and be given the opportunity to give an acceptance speech: I'd like to thank everyone who made this possible. Thanks to Toyota, for making the roomy yet compact Rav4. I'd like to thank the bumpers of the car ahead of me and behind me. I really could not have done this without your sacrifice. Finally, I'd like to thank Pontiac, who made the 97 Pontiac TranSport minivan, which I drove my senior year of college when the power steering was starting to go. You gave me the courage to parallel park with abandon, and without that trial by fire, this day wouldn't have been possible."

So, we're celebrating All Saints' Day tomorrow at church, so today I was taping up pictures of some saints of the broader know, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, St. Augustine, etc. Anyway, just as I announced to Andrew that I had gotten all the saints hung up, Dorothy Day fell from the wall. I thought it was symbolic she did; a non-conformist until the end! (Also, for nerdy Covenanters, Burton Nelson is straight across the sanctuary from Bonhoeffer. This wasn't planned from the beginning, but when I got to that section and he was in the mix, it seemed the proper choice!).

So, the other day I was thinking about some transitional moments from childhood to adulthood, those events that make you realize you're becoming an adult. Here are some of mine - both serious and not so serious in no particular order (some previously mentioned in other posts):
1. Driver's license. duh.
2. The first funeral you can remember attending. I was five when my grandpa died, and I still remember snapshots from the funeral and the car ride there.
3. The first time you realize Princess Bride is a spoof. I remember vividly being on a choir bus on the way to Canada in 6th grade and realizing that this wasn't an earnest movie about saving a princess; it was satire of those movies. That really blew my mind.
4. When you start secretly enjoying Prairie Home Companion. See previous post.
5. The first time your parents leave you alone without a babysitter. That must be a hard decision to make when you're a parent.
6. The first time you're asked to babysit - a hard decision for the parents' of the children!
7. Reading your first adult novel - John Grisham's The Client, if you're wondering. I think I've mentioned this before, but I went on a Grisham spree after that, but my mom would paperclip the parts of the book that I wasn't allowed to read and give me a synopsis of what happened.
8. When you buy your first tape/CD. Mine was Ace of Base's The Sign.
9. The first paid job besides babysitting and realizing that the next 50 years of work might be a bummer.
10. The first time you overdraw on your checking account.

Those are ten. Do you have others? Reflections?

I'm having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit with all this warm weather. We need a good cold front with some snow!


  1. I have a transitional moment to share, Dave. I moved in with Andy a month before Jadyn made her grand entrance. After Jadyn was born, I'd still go "home" every day, whether my mom and dad were there or not. After about 6 months or so, my "new" home with Andy finally started to feel like the home I was supposed to be in. After that, I didn't feel compelled to go to Mom's every day. That was a tough one for a "momma's girl" like me.

  2. i remember the first time i referred to minneapolis as "going home".

  3. Well, you're not the only who saw the sign. That was Andrew's first cassette as well. And boy, did it open his eyes.

  4. The first sleepover without getting a nervous stomach ache, needing to call mom, and going home early.