|This will always be hilarious to me.|
Have you noticed how many songs from your teen years just DEFINED them? But what about other times in your life? Are there any good songs that sort of say, "Hey, I'm an adult! How the hell did THAT happen?"
Yes, actually there are.
So I present to you, a mix of songs that represent an awareness of adulthood. Maybe not exactly anthems, but still... songs that I relate to more and more as I realize that yes, I'm actually an adult.
I think that having children changes you. Not in the big, scary ways you worry about in the beginning. In lots of smaller, subtler ways. There's something in the lyrics that aren't so much sad, as wistful. When I was a kid I thought this song was sad. Now, I don't. Now I see it as observational, bittersweet. "I've been afraid of changing..." It's not the same thing as "I am afraid of changing." Not I associate much more with the next words. "But time makes you bolder."
That it does.
I'm afraid I can't actually find decent video of Susan Werner singing this song, so we'll have to make do with this lovely (and very true to the original) cover. M and I have been together about eight years now. I know, that doesn't seem like very long to a lot of people. But it's a pretty darn long time. We've been together for more than a quarter of our lives. And that's a significant chunk of change. This is a love song for somebody who you've gotten a little older with. A lovely one, at that.
Yes, for Valentine's Day I got my husband furniture. And we nag each other to eat healthy and get exercise. Because these are important things. And because when you're not a kid anymore, you aren't just magically always at the peak of your health. And life is still wonderful.
Yeah, there's a lot of sadness in being the responsible adult in your child's life. And you do it because there is also so much joy. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at my children, loving them so hard that I could feel for a few minutes was a wracking guilt that life would someday be unkind to them.
The line that gets me the most about this song is, "...on what looks like to me, my mother's hand." About her own hand, of course. It's about finding peace and happiness in life that you didn't expect, in things that seemed too simple and too mundane to be important ten years ago. I love - love - this song.
I know, Freddie Mercury doesn't exactly scream "responsible adult." But this song kind of does. Realizing that you have to work for things to get them, and that you've done a lot of that, and that you've earned whatever success you have. That's a pretty grown-up kind of self awareness.