I think there is probably a point in everyone’s life when they realise they have become an adult. An epiphany if you will. And I have hit mine at the ripe old age of 30, quite quite unexpectedly.
There have been ample opportunities for this moment over the last few years – exchanging vows with James on our Wedding Day? No. Waking up the following morning and realising I was a wife and I had a husband? No. Bringing a twelve hour old Blake home? No. (Please don’t think for one second that these are not important moments. They are my most important, axis shifting moments. They just didn’t bring on that realisation that I am actually a grown up.) Spending hour upon hour nursing my child through cold virus after bastard cold virus? No. Registering for a My Waitrose card? No no and no.
The realisation has dawned wholly unexpectedly during the last few months, as I have started FEEDING THE BIRDS. I am a crazy bird lady. Prompted by Blake displaying an extreme fear of our feathered friends, I embarked upon a mission to try and get some birds into the garden (not an easy task given the previous occupant used to shoot pigeons off the roof) armed with a suet bird feeder precariously rigged from the swing.
Now, I am OBSESSED. From the minute the first sparrow hovered over the feeder I was gone. ‘LOOK BLAKE, A COAL-TIT!’ I shriek as he munches away on his Weetabix in the Conservatory. I whoop when a Robin perches on the fence. I find myself standing in front of the bird feeding section of the Botanical Gardens shop feverishly eyeing up the assorted feeds and feeding devices. The other day I remarked to James without even a hint of a snigger ‘I really think we need to get some fat balls.’ Today I compulsively bundled my teething, grouchy toddler into the car and headed to Waitrose to buy a new apple feeder. And then became increasingly pissy as no bird partook of any apple over the course of the day. I am all about the birds.
And I have suddenly realised that I am therefore an adult. Adults do such things. They do gardening, and read the paper, and feed the birds. I remember being totally perplexed as a child about why my parents were fussed about birds, let alone owned a book dedicated to being able to identify different ones. Now, I covet that book. I plan to steal it at the first available opportunity. My poor child is going to have to endure me wanging on about Thrushes (I don’t even find that funny now!) and Oyster-Catchers and Larks and the lesser-spotted-I-don’t-know-what (I’m still learning). I have started pointing out the birds in The Gruffalo to him.
It’s very surreal that this, of all things, should make me feel like a grown up, but this is my poison now. It’s an adult, mature new interest and I feel at once horrified and thrilled by it. I did not see this coming.
dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused