As of the 27th of September, I am 19 years old. Needless to say, I don’t know a thing about adulting. (Hey is it just me or do you feel the word “adult” is evolving into a verb, gradually?)
But today, I learnt a valuable lesson, which is also, I believe, one of the basic things you need to know as you step into adulthood.
Being somebody who has achieved adulthood on paper, I was sent along with my 6 year old cousin today to supervise his bike-riding.
(Yes, I am 19 and I have a cousin who’s 6- two of them, in fact. There also exists an as yet unborn one. I do not have cousins my age.)
He can, technically, ride a bike by himself but he purchased a new one yesterday and is therefore taking time to adapt.
Being the ideal granddaughter, niece, and cousin to various members of my extended family, I went along.
Now you have to know, I can’t ride a bike to save my life. There are various reasons for that. I was an overtly cautious kid who couldn’t bear to get her knees and/ or elbows scratched.
Falling off a bicycle is (present tense) one of my biggest fears.
I have tried learning to do it.
I have even almost learnt it.
But I have never actually done it all by myself, and I’ve never done it with joy: you know, like, enjoying the wind in my hair and that feeling of letting myself go.
I know it exists because I’ve seen it happen, even experienced it for like 2 minutes before starting to panic again.
Theoretically I can ride a bike.
Unfortunately for me, there’s no such thing as theoretically riding one.
Thus you can imagine how I was the most unqualified
kid adult to be guiding my cousin.
And yet we spent around an hour cycling around and I did guide him occasionally. I taught him how to get up on the seat, how to hold on to the brakes, how to focus on keeping your balance and how to get off the bike (I failed miserably at the last one because in spite of repeatedly telling him not to, he simply jumps off the bike and drops it like it has been set on fire when he wants to get down!)
I began having this feeling of accomplishment even though I knew that I did not really do anything (like I said, he could already ride a bike better than me).
Then I realised that the feeling actually had nothing to do with bike riding but instead came from having successfully adulted (might as well help it make the transition)!
I was literally winging it and giving him assurances that made him feel like I had his back and I knew what I was doing- which I didn’t!
Then I thought back to all the times as a kid when I felt like my parents could do anything and everything and how, as I grew up, I realised that they couldn’t really- and I always felt confused about that in my teens etc.
Now I know.
I don’t know if they covered this in How To Adult (it’s a YouTube channel, you should check it out- I haven’t caught up in a while actually; too busy adulting IRL), but they should, if they haven’t.
Let me do it for them.
Basics of how to adult around kids #1:
Pretend like you know your shit when in fact, you know you’re shit!