Jump, Missy, jump

I’ve always developed later in life. Sometimes by minutes, sometimes by years.

My cousins have a phrase for it: “Jump, Missy, jump!” Let me explain. Rewind to my cousin Susi’s 2nd birthday party. On the home video taken that day, you see Susi and all the other kids jumping up and down in a circle. Camera pans to 2-year-old Missy (as my family calls me). Instead of jumping with the other kids, Missy’s gazing at the yet-to-be-eaten chocolate cake. A moment later, all the kids stop jumping. Suddenly, Missy starts jumping up and down. All by herself.

Always a little behind. Always a little too late.

Even now, at 26, I’m still sometimes behind. This weekend was spent with my two closest friends from college: Katie and Linda. Katie just got engaged and is inches away from buying her first house. Linda had a beautiful wedding last summer. I love the happiness they each have found, and I’m so excited for their big events. So I say this not in jealousy (I promise, girls!), but in surprise of myself, at my own unreadiness.

Always a little behind. Always a little too late.

Timing is everything, they say. Katie likes to compare life to a highway. Some speed by in the fast lane, some travel right at speed limit, others stay in the slow lane. I admit it: I’m a Sunday driver. I keep my hands on 10 and 2 and proceed with caution. I wear my seat belt. I go slow.

Always a little behind. Always a little too late.

The thing is, I know I’ll get there. I always do. I just wonder how to take such a big step into adulthood without my mom. I’ve already made some imaginary plans for whenever that day may come. I’ve booked Aunt Sherry for dress shopping. And there are several other “adopted moms” who would help: Aunt Christine and Aunt Max, my best friend Laura’s mom, my dad’s girlfriend Susan. Plus, my dad’s been Mr. Mom (and done an amazing job at it) for quite some time now. I’ve got plenty of people on my side. Just one person who can’t be: Sally.

Do you have any “substitutes” in your circle? Someone special who has stepped up for events big or small?