Thursday, December 5, 2013

Becoming a responsible adult

I clearly remember the feeling of responsibility I had when I bought my first car.  I signed all the documents and they then gave me the keys and I drove off.  It seemed a little unreal to me that they were going to let me just take the car.  I kept wondering if they were going to make me bring it back. I was so used to at least reporting back to my parents that I was taking the car somewhere, it seemed strange that it was all mine.

I had the same reaction when I bought my house.  The numbers involved were much larger, but really I just signed some papers, they gave me a key, and it was mine.  No worrying about a landlord or reporting back to anyone.  The bank really seemed to think I was a responsible adult and that I was old enough to take care of a house by myself.

I remember having a similar feeling when I had my first child.  Granted, I had spent 9 months carrying her around with me and "taking care" of her.  But, when they checked me out of the hospital, I just took her with me and went home.  No nurses at the house, no "adult" checking up on me to make sure I was doing everything right.  I was supposed to be a responsible adult, and care for this little child. It was more than a little bit overwhelming.  You'd think at 34 I was old enough to consider myself responsible, but I'm not sure anything can prepare you for that type of responsibility.

As I think about it, though, I don't "own" this child in the same sense that I "owned" my car or my house.  She's on loan to me.  She's God's child.  I'm not really left alone with her.  If something with her needs "repairing", I can always go to Him for help.  He feels the responsibility I feel for taking care of her.  He for some reason considers me a responsible adult capable of taking care of His child on a very long term basis.  Knowing this makes me feel the responsibility even more, and at the same time comforts me in knowing I'm not alone in caring for a child.

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