Pages

July 13, 2010

Becoming An Adult

beauty eyes butterfly cute Images
When she was seventeen she was informed the county court did not know what else to do with her so she was declared a legal adult. She would need to move out of the foster home where she currently resided.

Where would she go? How would she finish school? How would she live?

Too many questions and not enough experience or resources to find answers. After talking to various associates and determining that she had nowhere to go and no money to get somewhere, she called her birth mother. She had remained in contact with her mother but had not lived with her for many years.

Her mother was working in a city nine hours drive from where she was but her mother agreed to drive there and take her back to live with her.

The time in the car proved to be more interesting than she thought it would be. She and her mother talked without arguing. When a police man pulled the mother over for speeding, the young girl could not keep from interfering. While writing the ticket, the police man yapped "Lady, you passed me like I was painted on a sign". The girl, who had actually been driving for five years, albeit illegally the first three years, considered herself knowledgeable about driving. And after all, hadn't she just been declared an adult? So the girl leaned forward in the passenger seat and challenged the police officer with "Why aren't you stopping all the other people who were driving over the speed limit? She was just driving with the flow." It didn't come as a surprise that the man writing the ticket ignored her question.

After all the years of dissension, the girl realized in a blink of an eye that she had for the first time stood up for her mother. Maybe it wasn't a wise thing to mouth off to a police officer, but the fact was, the girl found herself in new territory emotionally.

Many miles later, the speeding ticket incident behind them, they found themselves in a city that was new to both of them. There were signs along the freeway that kept saying Cow Palace. The mother said maybe it was a huge dairy. They decided to visit the Cow Palace and get some chocolate milk and have a little break from all the driving.

They had to pay to park in a huge parking lot. "This better be worth it" they both said. The mother went to the ticket cage and bought two tickets. She was laughing as she walked back to where the girl was waiting. She handed the ticket to the girl and said they would be seeing a circus. This would be the first time the girl would see a circus.

The city was San Francisco which became a favorite city for the girl as she grew up. A city she returned to visit many times over her lifetime. She only lived with her mother for three months, just enough time to complete the last semester of high school and find a job and a small apartment. At seventeen years old she was enchanted with her first circus performance and three months later she held her diploma tightly in her hands. She had a job that would provide enough income to support her. She now accepted her adult status.

49 comments:

Casey Freeland said...

Great story. That is when we become adults... When we support ourselves. When my only parent died, I was 19. Not immediately, but soon after, I was an adult.

A 30 year old man who is still living off mom and dad, not working to pay for his own basic needs, in my opinion, still has a way to go.

Rock Chef said...

I am so glad I was able to grow up at my own speed.

I find it incredible and horrific the way that children in care are often just forced out into the world when they are officially adults...

Scarlet Blue said...

I think that this happens in the UK too. One minute they're in care, the next thrown out to look after themselves. Disgraceful.
This young lady was lucky.
Sx

Brian Miller said...

i do believe this is your story, yes? a great coming of age, standing up for mom, seeing new sights with adult eyes...

willow said...

This is you, Techno? You had chutzpah from an early age! Glad you shared this with us. It's a great story.

blueviolet said...

That was an abrupt entry to adulthood!

LL Cool Joe said...

That moment when you can fend for yourself, when you earn enough to live your own life, is very special. So is this story.

Betty said...

Fascinating story! Whoever it was, had to have many struggles at a very young age.

TechnoBabe said...

Yes, this story is true and it is my story. Many more to come.

DJan said...

No wonder you are such a special person, you had a very special upbringing. I am amazed that you have accomplished so much in your life, and why do I feel you are still just beginning? I am proud to know you, TB.

TALON said...

TechnoBabe, that's an incredible journey from childhood to adulthood. Isn't it remarkable to look back and see those really pivotal moments that shape our lives? Thank you for sharing this...

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

WOW, and that brakes my heart,... if she was still 17 I would take her under my wing,.. but I am pretty sure she morphed into an amazing adult!! Amazing pic btw!

Jeanie said...

Your story is incredible and your outcome amazing. I sometimes felt I had to raise myself or at least make my own rules and I was on my own when my parents died when I was 18, but nothing like what you went through. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Kathy M. said...

This is a very cool story on many levels. You are certainly a survivor. My respect for you grows daily. Hugs.

Kristina P. said...

I am always sitting on the edge of my seat. I work with teenagers in very similar situations, but many of them are so immature!

Julie said...

Yes, the girl in this story grew into an amazing adult--Technobabe! You are a strong person who has learned much from your struggles. That impresses me a lot.

This is a great story. The scene that really tugs at my heart is when the girl talks back to the cop in defense of her mother. That says so much. I look forward to reading more!

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

Somebody told me that we do our own growing up. I don't think I'm that matured yet :)

KleinsteMotte said...

A gem! You're a keeper! I'll be reading all you write cause you have heart as well as reason.

deb said...

I can't get past you as a 17 year old being declared an adult.
My heart will carry a little crack for you forever, TechnoBabe. Regardless of how this all played out, and where you are today.
Regardless.

Sabi Sunshine said...

wow amazing story you have posted. Very impressive. Sometimes we dont know when we grow up or our children grow up until something comes up and your realize wow time has been changed and we are changed too .

Thanks Dear for sharing this amazing story of yours.
Love
Sabi Sunshine

Maggie said...

That must have been hard at the beginning, but you are an amazing and strong person and you are showing us that with your story. Thank you for sharing!

secret agent woman said...

I take i this is you?

English Rider said...

The fact that kids "age-out" of the foster system is a little known fact. For Kids who have already gone through all kinds of hell it is one more abandonment, one more kick whilst they are down and very hard to overcome. I don't know of a solution but airing the problem can't hurt. I have friends who work with kids and others who have been child-advocates and mentors. They are a lifeline.

The Urban Cowboy said...

Wow Techno, such adversity and responsibility at such a young age. Thanks for sharing this part of yourself.

Cheryl said...

This story really moved me. I cannot fathom how others have grown up or been forced to grow up way too soon. A story of courage indeed.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I remember the "Cow Palace", I used to live on the Peninsula when growing up. To my knowledge I don't think the building ever housed a cow. I remember when the Republicans had their national convention there; they nominated Barry Goldwater. Yep, they held a LOT of circuses in the Cow Palace.

Lori said...

Is this you? Wow! What courage it took. I can only imagine the life experiences this girl had along the way to becoming an adult. XX

Maggie May said...

It does seem quite frightening when a child in care suddenly finds herself on her own. I am really pleased that this one managed to find a life. Many don't and I think there is a definite need for some kind of secure extra care for a year or two, to help them on their way.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Eternally Distracted said...

That stop gap between leaving care and being able to take care of yourself is horrendous... I fought it for years in England but it still seems the same. Unfortunately it is at this time that extra care is needed most. Fortunately this girl didn't fall through the cracks :0)

Syd said...

I am glad that the mother and daughter had a positive time together. It is nice to know that she decided to get the diploma and to be self-supporting. Awesome.

Mr. Stupid said...

That must have been a huge struggle from childhood to adulthood. This was a great story. Thanks for sharing...

Big Dave T said...

I did read a good comeback once to the inquiry of why the police weren't stopping everyone else who was speeding. Police must get that often. When a stopped speeder asked why the policeman wasn't ticketing all the other people driving fast, the officer replied, "You ever go fishing?"

"Yes," the errant driver replied.

"You ever catch every fish in the lake?"

Cinner said...

I loved the story and was glad she was able to enjoy her mom, even though for a short while. I think we all grow up too fast.

Moannie said...

Lovely story, and with a happy ending so that is a bonus.
I think that we become adults when we finally take responsibility for our actions, and you don't have to leave home to do that.

gayle said...

I really enjoyed reading this!! I was an adult at 17 too but my story is different.

Opaque said...

I grew up faster than a normal pace. So, I do miss a couple of things that I could have continued doing. AH well.

lisleman said...

thanks for sharing.
It feels good looking back? Probably depends I guess.

Mama Zen said...

New territory emotionally. Yes, I get that.

Kulio said...

A heartbreaking but brave brave story!

beth said...

superb story....reminds of some of the kids i worked with when i was a casa.....

only their stories weren't quite as happy as this one...

otin said...

Is this someone who we know? It seems to be written with firsthand knowledge!

Hilary said...

So young to be declared an adult. You had a rocky start but did so well for yourself. Thank you for sharing this.

Mrs4444 said...

Is this story true, TB? It's perfectly believable, so I'm wondering...?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Techno-- You have such an impeccable way of telling your personal stories. They are honest and real and heartbreaking and, and, and.... amazing. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

And good for you for sticking up for your mom!

xo jj

Shrinky said...

The girl had no option other than to become an adult, although I suspect she had already left her childhood behind long, long before then. I look at my own children now, how vulnerable (for all their bluster) they still are, and am filled with horror that a child so defenceless could be thrown out into this world to sink or swim.

The girl survived, she was a fighter. (Hugs)

R. J. said...

Wow, that's a tough road to have traveled. Maybe it's true that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, but it certainly isn't fair. I'm such an advocate of strong parenting, I don't understand any other paradigm. Sorry you had to go through that.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am thankful you were able to overcome such adversity. Very thankful.

Ms Hen said...

Is this your story??

Wow.. !! (hugs). !!! What an adventurous life you had.. !!

I still can't drive .. lol

I've been mainly on my own since 17 too..

hugs..

Marla said...

You are amazing.

One thing bothers me though. I was a foster parent for many years and it would have never occured to me to not keep a kid just because they were out of the system. How can we do that to kids? I will never understand it.