Experiencing full effects of growing up

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, May 8, 2011

I feel like I am growing up.

Not in the sense that I have moved away from home, have beenpaying bills and have been doing all the other not-so-great stuffabout life.

In fact, I have been working since high school and paying mostof my bills for quite some time. Yes, my parents love me, but wethought it was more important that I learn to budget money.

I suppose the downside to this is I am pretty frugal. If I don’tneed something I don’t buy it, and I will ponder every decisioninvolving spending money (Wal-Mart trips are never short forme).

No, I feel like I am becoming more of an adult because of therecent trip I took home about a week ago.

I have five older sisters. When I say older, I mean older. Anyone of them could be mistaken for my mom, and that is often thecase. There are 12 years between my youngest sister and me.

With five older sisters also comes a large family. To date, Ihave 13 nieces and nephews, with one more on the way. Also, afterJuly 9, I will gain three more through marriage (holidays areCRAZY).

I visited home to witness a few of my nieces and nephews receiveFirst Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Bassfield.It’s the closest Catholic church to Sumrall.

However, it was not attending an event to support family thatmade me feel all grown up. With a family my size you attend justabout every school function and sporting event imaginable.

I felt like an adult when my nephew asked me if I was going towatch him receive communion. Maybe it just made me really feel likean uncle.

I have been an uncle since 5 months of age, but I guess being soclose to age to all my nieces and nephews, perhaps they arestarting to view me more as an adult and not as a peer.

I think the feelings of adulthood continued when I felt reallyproud of all my nieces and nephews during the ceremony as they readpassages during mass and got through difficult words. They’reyoung, so it’s OK to sound it out at their age.

I remember giving a few of my nephews a thumbs up as they lookedback for approval. They seemed happy to have their family in thepews behind them showing their support.

All my moving around between school and work has made itdifficult to stay involved in all of my extended family’s lives. Itry to receive updates as often as possible, but my mom and sistersaren’t too great at sharing what’s going on with everyone. I guessthere are too many people and not enough time (not to mention mymom’s cell phone plan only allows so many minutes. I didn’t knowthose plans still existed).

While I hear most parents’ lives center around their kids, Ithink there is some room there for uncles, aunts, cousins orwhoever else to step in and be a part of family.

I don’t have the privilege of knowing too many members of myextended family; most have either passed away or live across thecounty.

If I could get on my soapbox for a second … If you have somefamily members that you don’t speak with much or feel obligated toget to know – try spending some time together.

Who says parents can be the only influence on a young person’slife?

Write to Chad Lederman at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602,or send e-mail to clederman@dailyleader.com.