I feel like a grown-up when… I’m walking home with shopping bags, and there’s something like leeks sticking out of one of them.
I remember I’m not really when… I unpack the shopping and whoop with delight when I see the Nesquik chocolate milk powder I forgot I bought.
I feel like a grown-up when… I hear of yet another marriage or birth amongst my friends, and see Facebook status updates about children’s 6th birthdays and school runs and wedding anniversaries.
I remember I’m not really when… I watch a Disney movie with a class of 6-year-olds, and I’m the only one who cries at the end.
I feel like a grown-up when… I’m coming out of the subway on my way to meet a friend in order to “do lunch”.
I remember I’m not really when… I’m drinking cheap beer in a bar and blushing furiously while my giggling friend forces me to practise my Korean small talk/chat-up skills on her non-English-speaking, incredibly hot male colleague.
I feel like a grown-up when… I collect my bills from the mail slot and go to the bank to pay them.
I remember I’m not really when… I realise that one bill’s actually 2 weeks overdue and my gas has been cut off because I never remember to check the mail slot.
I feel like a grown-up when… I’m trying to get to the bottom of another who-hit-who-first argument between two 8-year-olds (one crying, one looking defensive and mutinous), and recalling how important it used to be to make the adults believe you didn’t start it. If only we knew that they didn’t really give a toss.
I remember I’m not really when… one of my students points out that the class should have started five minutes ago, when I’ve been too busy playing with whatever toys they’ve brought in that day to notice the time.
I feel like a grown-up when… I get called “teacher”, and children look at me as if I am the font of all knowledge.
I remember I’m not really when… I’m sitting with my Korean tutor, squirming uncomfortably as she says, “Not quite, try again…” when I’m stuttering and stammering my way through sentences like “I have a cat. She lives in my parents’ house.”.