Anna (_ocelott_) wrote,

Moving and Growing Up

We're moving next week, down the hall to another apartment in the same building. It's slightly larger, but the biggest advantage is that the space is distributed differently, in a way that will benefit us. The baby has been sleeping in a little bassinet, but one of the bedrooms in the new place is big enough to hold the older kids' bunk beds plus a crib and two dressers. (The exchange is that the living room isn't as big, but it seems a fair trade.)

There are a lot of advantages to such a short move. The kids will be able to go to the same school, any stray mail is pretty easy to collect so no need to pay for the mail forwarding service, and there's far less packing to do. For example, since it's just a quick trek down the hall, it's just as easy to use the same 3 or 4 boxes for all my books: fill 'er up, take it down the hall, put the books on the shelf and then return to the old place to do it again. Certainly this is not an option if you're moving across the city or across the country.

We've been in this same apartment for a long time now, having moved shortly after we had our first baby and the one bedroom place wasn't enough room anymore. It's been long enough I had forgotten some of the minor annoyances of moving (which is impressive, considering how many times I've moved in my lifetime). Getting the phone, internet, and television switched over, changing our mailing address, I'll need a new health card (they're only valid if all the information on them is correct and if they're not valid, you have to pay for the medical services you'd otherwise be getting for free)... lots of little things. So it's going to be a busy couple of weeks, but then it's been a really busy summer so really, we should be used to it by now. Right? Right.

In other news, I read an article the other day about how my generation and the one just after me, the ones just coming up now, are essentially delaying adulthood as much as possible. Usually I hate these articles, since they strike me as some childless person grumbling about "kids these days" and how we have it far easier than the generations before us. In some ways this is true, and in some ways it isn't, but to state that my generation needs to grow up and stop waffling annoys me greatly. I was married with a baby by the age of 21, which is a younger age to be settling down than even most people of my parents' generation.

This particular article was really well done, though, and managed to escape my annoyance. Ok, the title I became an adult at 22: Why can't you? is grating, but the author doesn't come down on lazy 20-somethings or bemoan the fate of the human race. Instead, she focuses on trying to figure out why the current crop of young adults are doing things differently than their predecessors. Why don't they want to move out at the earliest possible moment? Why are they often waiting until they're in their 30s to marry and have kids? Why would a legal adult be willing to live with the financial support of their parents? I like that she points out the parents are enabling the children living with them or being supported by them, and that this extended adolescence tends to result in much closer relationships between parent and child than previous generations have had. She does go on to say that she feels it comes at the cost of some independence:

"But I'm also grateful that my parents encouraged self-sufficiency. Being required to take care of myself completely starting at age 22 has given me strength because I've learned what I'm capable of even in extremely difficult circumstances, and satisfaction because I have known that whatever I achieved in my life was due to my own efforts. I continue to believe that independence and direction in life are choices, not behaviors held hostage to some developmental loitering that lasts long past the arrival of both physiological and legal adulthood."

I've got to say, being the early adult (according to her definition of adult) of my generation, I'm not sure I have the advantage over my peers. I know others who lived with their parents until they were in their mid-to-late 20s, and my friends (most of whom are older than I am) are just getting married and having children now. But you know what? They're far more financially stable than I am, having had an extra few years to get themselves established. Most of my friends now own or are in the market for houses, something that will remain outside the realm of possibility for my husband and I for a few years yet. Am I more independent than my peers? Some of them, yes, but give them a couple more years of experience out on their own and they'll have caught up. So does "growing up" at an earlier age give me any advantage at all over those who waited? I guess the jury's still out on that one.
Tags: life, something to mull over

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