So I had a terrifying realization today. And it was all thanks to my lovely grandmother.
I’m not even sure how it came up, but we somehow started talking about her life when she was a teenager. She was going on about how much fun she’d have out with the girls and everything. But then she stopped somewhat suddenly and looked at me. In a lower pitch, she stammered, “Oh wait, you’re nineteen now, aren’t you?”
Uh, yeah, Grandma. I am nineteen. Now what exactly is that somber look about?
Well, it turns out that at nineteen years old, my grandma wasn’t so much running around with friends. She was married….and she had a baby, my mom’s oldest sister. Nineteen wasn’t really an adolescent age for her. She doesn’t include it in those teenage years that she so loves to think back on. No, nineteen was marriage and motherhood.
So yeah, terrifying. There I was, sitting on the couch in my bikini with a phone glued to one hand and a Capri Sun in the other. Nineteen and nowhere near ready for anything close to that much responsibility. It’s really hard for me to even comprehend, to be honest. I don’t even have an actual boyfriend, let alone a husband. And a baby?! Oh my goodness, no. I have tons of respect for teen moms who do it right, but good lord, that is not for me. I would be terrible at living in my grandmother’s shoes.
In my defense, though, times have changed a lot. Girls back then would grow up in the house where they’d learn how to do all the things that need done to keep everyone happy and healthy. I grew up on various sports fields and courts and never had a real desire or need to learn to cook or sew. The closest I got to that sort of thing was 4-H, and even that was more centered around my dog and a few posters about sports and animals. I think that at nineteen, I know enough to get by on my own, but it scares me to think of actually doing it.
See, I’m just not in a rush to grow up anymore. This is basically the perfect stage in my life. I have the freedom I’ve always craved, but I’m not quite in the “real world” that’s supposedly so brutal. I’m mature enough to form and hold opinions, to fall in love, and to really start to chase my dreams. I have to handle my own money, take care of my own problems, and really hold myself responsible. But I’m not on my own yet. I’m still a kid.
Nineteen with a husband and a baby. Nineteen…like me. And that’s still completely terrifying for me to think about.