The Baby Turns 21

This week my youngest turned 21. A sobering moment for me as I reminisced about my own 21st birthday. I think I was so much more “grown up” than he is. Or at least that is my perception. He still looks and behaves so young. It makes me wonder at what point these boys will be able to sustain their own lives, on their own, without Mom’s help. I wonder if my own parents had the same insecurities about me when I ventured out on my own.  I was much younger than they are now. At 18 I had a place with my then fiance and we were planning our future together. These boys don’t even have committed relationships. And the way the economy is today, neither has any security available to them in the form of careers. Their independence seems delayed to me. Although when I look at other people in their age range, I see similar situations…twenty-somethings all living at home paying a minimum amount of rent and not worrying about impacts of children or job loss. Their security is their parents, and their parents’ homes.

By delaying independence, are these young people affecting their ability or time span to procreate? Will mankind adapt to these changes in society. Or are most of these young people destined to be childless? I wasn’t able to become pregnant in my forties. Will my children be forced to jump into relationships and parenthood all in one single decade? And what if it doesn’t happen within that decade? Will they close the door to that possibility altogether?

I guess if 50 is the new 40, then by default 30 would be the new 20 and 40 the new 30 and so on. So I guess it stands to reason that my children’s jump into “adulting” would be delayed by a decade. On a positive note, I get to spend that extra time with them, more as their friend as opposed to their parent. And they respect my opinion better on topics of finances and life choices. Maybe mankind is evolving after all. Maybe we are raising children who will make better, informed decisions about their lives. And maybe they will be more successful in the end as a result. A mother can only hope I guess.

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