At the age of 36 I still am not completely assured that I am an adult. (Does anyone else have this feeling? ) Aside from being old enough to legally buy beer and pornography; what do we do that gives us adult status?
Recently, I took Kyle on a canoe trip with the Boy Scout troop he joined. We paddled down the Willamette River about fifty-miles in three days. The difference between the boys (most of them elven-years-old) and the adults was obvious, we (the adults) were pretty intent on paddling safely along without trouble; the boys wanted to be in the water.
One break we took on the first day, the boys found some fast moving water and with their PDF's still on, jumped in, and let the current carry them down; myself and one other adult were the only ones to jump in too. The other adult was a mom.
The other men busied themselves with looking at the route we were taking and discussing the amount of time it would take for us to get where we needed to be before nightfall; none of them took the plunge into the river. (maybe it was the three eyed fish)
As I over-analyzed this, the feeling that I am not grown up and serious enough came up. The fact, also, that I was the only adult- male in the water made me question my manliness.
heh---yer a stay at home dad......
Yes, even renegades, such as my self, question and worry about fitting neatly into gender and age related roles.
One aspect of Adulthood, that I am sure of, is the ability to think of the well being of others before yourself. Becoming a parent often forces those of us who have not reached that ability to do that. The conclusion I came to was: I had to jump into the river, so I could make sure it was safe and so the boys could see that adults could appreciate the same type of fun.