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mazingerz88's avatar

What happened that made you realize your childhood days are over?

Asked by mazingerz88 (25915points) June 23rd, 2011

Beyond the obvious physical changes that your body went through in growing up, have you ever had any pivotal experience in your life that has somehow made you realized you are no longer a child, that you are not that special and was expected to take on responsibilities you never thought you had to?

What was that possibly unforgettable moment that has awakened the young adult in you?

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42 Answers


When I started working and was held accountable for anything I did for the company.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Whenever I moved into my apartment, by myself, and was responsible for everything.

I took it quite easily though.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My first FT job in my last year of high school that kept our house payment and utilities paid, gas in the cars, a new refrigerator that had to be paid off and groceries. My stepdad left my mother and his baby (and me) so instead of moving out right away as I’d been planning, I stayed behind a year and helped my mother out. The following year I moved out on my own and never again could afford to take a summer off and go hang out with my grandparents who thought I was of age anyhow to be doing just as I was.

Coloma's avatar

Getting married at 21 and then realizing that I married someone who was still 14. lol

marinelife's avatar

When I moved 3,000 miles away from my family to go to college.

Bellatrix's avatar

I found out I was pregnant and had a little person coming that would need me to be at least responsible, if not necessarily behave like a grown up.

josie's avatar

Getting shot at. And shooting back.

anartist's avatar

When I found I owed 250000 to a lawyer.

woodcutter's avatar

Basic training, US Army. It was back when the D.I’s were allowed to curse at you and kick dirt in your face.
Edit: It was 33 years ago and I swear I still pick sand outa my teeth.

chyna's avatar

When my dad died when I was 17 and my mom lost it and I basically had to take care of her the rest of her life.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

My father dying of cancer. He had six months to live.
I looked at my Mom and said “What do you need?”
She looked at me and said “He’s the one who’s dying.”
I looked at her and said “He’s dying, what do you need?”

My father said “Finally you get balls.”

AshLeigh's avatar

When my parents divorced, I knew I couldn’t be a kid anymore.
I had to take care of myself, and my mentally challenged brother while they fought about childish things. Makes you grow up fast.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

When I started working and earning my own money.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I don’t recall one particular incident. Certainly making my own decision to drop out of law school ( because I hated it ) and join the Army ( to avoid being drafted ) made me more aware of being responsible for myself. Definitely being shot at was a wake-up call. Heh!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Adulthood became a reality when cuts and bruises started taking more than a day or two to heal.

dabbler's avatar

Got a mortgage for a term longer than I’d been alive at that point.

_zen_'s avatar

The discovery that the Tooth Fairy was in fact my mom.

FluffyChicken's avatar

. . . They are?

Coloma's avatar


Good effing God! $250k to a lawyer and you haven’t tied a rock around your neck and jumped off a bridge? LOL

wundayatta's avatar

When my parents kicked me out of the house.

lillycoyote's avatar

Becoming an adult is an ongoing process for me, I’m kind of a slow learner, so there’s really no one experience or event I can reference. I still don’t alway feel like one and have not put all my childish things away.

But, because my mom whipped us all into shape, me, my brother, my dad even, in the “civic responsibility” department, when I first registered to vote at 18, that actually made me feel more like an adult than getting my driver’s license or turning twenty one. It felt like a real responsibility.

And when I was in college and decided I needed to take a year off because I was drifting and fooling around and understood that “this¬†shit is costing my parents money! I better get my act together because a lot of people don’t get this opportunity” I had never been all that concerned about my parents money when I was living at home or that grateful for the things I had but I guess I was starting to grow up.

But the most important think, was when I started realizing that there was a difference between merely doing adult things and actually being an adult.

woodcutter's avatar

I’m so glad I didn’t have my epiphany with bullets coming at me. I don’t know which would be worse, the bullets popping over my head or the poop and pee in my underpants. it’s bad to shit on yourself.

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like another attack of the untrue truisms to me.

Those all sound like annoying ways to think about age. I don’t think in those ways. Neither does my hundred-year-old grandmother with the twinkling eyes.

anartist's avatar

@Coloma still digging out of the pit. BTW lawyer is decent guy—didn’t do what he coulda.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

When I accepted that my children were all grown up, my parents were senior citizens and my grandmother was over 100 years old.

This does not mean I don’t still enjoy activities from my extended childhood.

mazingerz88's avatar

When I changed my mind about a quitting a job I hated just so I could help financially my brother who was still in school.

When I have finally gotten over the most terrible heartache of being dumped by my “greatest love”.

When I finally said enough is enough about forcing myself to have faith in a religion that I have been doubting since I was 10.

redfeather's avatar

Pushing a baby out of my body and staring at her for 2 hours memorizing every tiny detail of her.

Carol's avatar

Feeling I was an adult? I was 15, in a small town in France with my french class. I was walking through a very tall field of grass with a boy from another group from New York. There was nobody around and no sound except the breeze. We were discussing life, death and whether there was a god (things that most 15 year olds do….ok, I was a bit strange) when he took my hand, turned me toward him and kissed me. It wasn’t a heavy or deep kiss, but it seemed long. I remember thinking, I don’t believe this is really happening to me and I will never ever forget this moment. I felt extremely special in the way that it happened…how odd that it was so perfect when everything else felt such a mess.

Responsibilities? Shortly after becomming a mother, like on the way home from the hospital, I realized I couldn’t kill myself. It was no longer an option. I said it aloud. “Oh shit. We can’t kill ourselves any more even if we wanted to.” Though I certainly wasn’t suicidal I knew I had the responsibility to stay alive, no matter what it took. The next week we bought life insurance.

Berserker's avatar

Oh we were so young and our hair was so fair, we fought with wooden sticks on the frozen river in the starlit evening, our deity was Tempo. His temple was under a bridge, with one of its mighty pillars adorned with a graffiti of a Viking dude with a huge beard and a spear.

I came home later in the evening, and realized I hadn’t done my homework. I was terrified, and feared the teacher’s wrath. I was punished, but life went on, and we fought with Tempo in our hearts, the blood of battle throbbing in our veins.

Then I blinked, and my friends became druggies or pregnant, and I got sent to group homes. Super Mario games were played on my lonesome as I mourned endless game night sleepovers, and Tempo had left me. The blood of battle was no longer in my veins, but syringes were, as I was tested for the HIV virus. In between 10 and 15, I saw nasty and depressing stuff that I didn’t see before, or didn’t interpret as I do now now, and have seemingly been interpreting as for 2000 years.
Somewhere in between then. If not then, then a bit later, when I realized that having to get a job was the only way to survive, unless I became homeless, or a cannibal.

I realized that my childhood days were over when not doing my homework wasn’t the only thing I had to worry about anymore.

I should have become a cannibal. Regrets. Another adult thing. Lame.

…sorry. XD

blueiiznh's avatar

when I moved from home….
nuf said

ucme's avatar

The first christmas I unwrapped my presents & not a single toy could be found :¬(

lillycoyote's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought I’ve lost both my parents and what a precious gift that so very brief bit of conversation was for both you and your father, I think. He died knowing that he had successfully raised you to adulthood and that he had raised a good man; and he died with you knowing that he knew that. There can be so many things left unsaid in life, between us and the people we love, the people who matter to us and to whom we matter, the people with whom we have shared our lives and our history, and then someone is dead, sometimes all of a sudden, of course, it’s too late then, for both the living and the dead, to say any of the the things we would have liked to have said, meant to say, should have said, but didn’t.

mattbrowne's avatar

The screaming when I joined the army at age 19.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Whose screaming, your parents’ or yours? : D

mattbrowne's avatar

Good one @CaptainHarley ! Well, my parents never screamed at 4 am telling me the Soviets are coming. As usual a couple of hours later we were told it was just a drill. But we never knew for sure. It was 1981 and the Soviets had just invaded Afghanistan and were setting up more and more SS-20 launch sites. My division was stationed just 100 miles form the East German border. There were plenty joint military exercises with American troops.

Well, the experience turned me into an adult pretty quickly.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I can imagine. Looks like you survived it ok! : )

woodcutter's avatar

@mattbrowne Similar thing happened there in ‘80 I think it was. During the Iran hostage flap. It was creepy when all the lights went out in Baumholder on a Sunday night. The entire country went on alert. We thought for sure we were going to “get us some” The battalion was loaded out and standing ready to leave the motor pool before we got the order to stand down. Soooo glad it was stopped.

mattbrowne's avatar

@CaptainHarley – Yes, I did and I think had some advantage over the people who went straight to college…

@woodcutter – Yes. I know Baumholder, Idar-Oberstein, Grafenwoehr, Munster and all the rest. What I hated most were the exercises simulating an attack with chemical weapons. I managed not to vomit inside my gas mask but others couldn’t hold it back. It’s stuff you don’t learn in high school. And Mom can do nothing for you. You’re on your own.

lonelydragon's avatar

When I got sick and had to take care of myself.

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