I recently turned 50 years old. You would think that I've thought of myself as a grown-up for a long time, but I'm sure most of you don't really, in your heart, no matter how old you are, feel much more than 20. I know my body won't ever be like it was when I was 20, but in my head I don't really feel like I've changed too much.
One of the things that has never changed about me is that I hate confrontation and I always want to help people even if I know I'm getting myself into something messier than I want to deal with. But today I really proved that I have grown up and learned some lessons.
A high school friend of my daughter's (who's 22) asked if she could move in with me because she's taking a semester off from college and she can't take living with her parents any longer. A big part of me really wanted to help her. I love a lot of my daughter's friends like they're kids of my own and while her parents aren't physically abusive I know they're overbearing and hard on her. But she was asking if she could move in with me for five months! If it had been a week or a month, I probably would've said yes, but 5 months with another person in my house?! I just couldn't do it.
My husband and I have only been married for three years and quite frankly we're still like newlyweds. I love that my daughter is grown and succesfully out on her own and that my husband and I get to spend a lot of our time alone. So I told my daughter's friend this frankly and she said she understands, but I still feel badly. I was tempted to carry on the conversation (this was in texts) to try to offer advice, but I was worried that if I continued I would get sucked into letting her stay for some unspecified time. So I just let the conversation drop.
And that's how I know I've grown up because I know where to draw the line. To say "you are a grown-up now too and you have to figure these things out for yourself." But it still leaves me feeling a bit wretched. :(