I am 50. My children are grown and my husband is retired. I have noticed, since this last birthday -- or perhaps it’s just coincidence -- that my sisters are emailing me more frequently with requests for what I can only characterize as matriarchal information and advice. It makes me ponder the question of being an elder. Not elderly -- not that, quite yet -- but if not yet a senior citizen, then entering into the grandparent age. Regardless whether one actually has grandchildren at this time, that is how the world begins to view you. The generation above me is dwindling in strength and numbers, and the eyes start turning to us as the seniors. Us, the freewheeling, hippie baby boomers.
Right through my thirties, I still occasionally wondered to myself when I would truly feel grown up. I don’t remember considering this much during my forties, but on the other hand, that entire decade pretty much passed in the blink of an eye. And now at 50, I know I’ve finally given up on wondering how much maturity I may have still to gain. I’m as grown up as I’m ever going to be. When you’re little, you wonder what ancient, grandparent-type people think about. For a long time in life you always think there are wiser, more mature people than you out there. But this, what I am now? -- this is as good as it gets. This is what grown-up is.
Huh. The emperor has no clothes.