I’m Jewish, so if I were to take heed of my religion, I would have been an adult since the age of 13, when I had a Bar Mitzvah (it’s not always like the films, but there is always a dance, always a drunk uncle and always lots of food). A Bar Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony when a Jewish male is deemed old enough to be responsible for his own actions in the eyes of God – Bar Mitzvah literally means ‘son of the commandments’ – and he has all the rights and responsibilities of a Jewish adult. Females have the same, but a year earlier at 12 – they’re maturer than us boys!
However, I don’t feel as though that’s when I became an adult.
I’ve been through a fair amount in my life – moving from one end of the country to another at 14. Living on a remote hill farm in Lancashire. Moving out of the family home at 17. Travelling abroad, seeing things that a teenager shouldn’t see, like suicide bombings, earthquakes, living with Bedouin, doing crazy things that get the adrenalin pumping.
But I don’t think I became an adult until the birth of my eldest daughter in 2015. That’s when it hit me. There’s something small and vulnerable that needs protecting, needs nurturing, needs educating, needs my unconditional love and needs the benefit of all of my experiences in life. That’s when I think I really became an adult.