Definition of ‘Kidult’ (to me) : An adult who still has the kid in him/her.
One of the episodes of the Hong Kong drama《法外风云》mentioned this particular word, and since then, this word has been resonating in my mind stream. I cannot help but think how apt it is for most of us here, given our tiny geographical map that makes us unable to leave our parents when we get of age. When exactly is the right age to be of age anyways? In order not to complicate matters, maybe I will just define it as the legal age for most things, 21 years old.
I think most of us like to think of ourselves as adults, independent humans capable of caring for ourselves and even our parents (a little of our monthly salary gets channeled to our parents to show our gratitude and filial piet). We, as adults, fret over our monthly bills and piling taxes. We experience and understand the pain of loss. Loss in the sense of death of a loved one. Though, it could be financial loss as well, as some learn to dabble in shares and the like. We learn through the hard way that life is precious, and our health is but as fragile as a piece of porcelain. We start buying insurance to protect ourselves and our family (more money flowing away from us). We are not the centre of universe as we would like to believe (though we may still be the centre of our own universe). Our futures are unforeseeable, we finally comprehend that any decisions made now could affect how we lead our lives in the future in irreversible ways.
Yet we, kidults, continue to live with our parents. Parents who will always see their children as, children. No matter how much they have aged. With this we get to retain the benefits of being a child. Waking up to a scrumptious breakfast in the morning? Check. Returning home to a dinner spread? Check. Untidy bedrooms turn spick and span when you return home only to mess it up again? Check. Constant supply of clean and iron-pressed clothes in the wardrobe? Check. Fell sick and unable to get up from your bed? No worries. There is an angel in the form of your mother caring for you, nursing you back gently to health. You moan and groan a little louder, hoping to get the attention you had as a kid, and you succeed. Air con or tap faulty? Just say the magic phrase (It’s spoilt!) and it will be as good as new in a matter of days. All this makes me (at least) reluctant to grow up fully. Yet, there is a nagging feeling of being caged. Where is the freedom that all birds crave? We, the baby birds, are all grown, ready to spread our wings (and even fall, though just the notion can be a little hard to bear), but sometimes, it feels like the wings are tagged with a device that rings incessantly whenever we fly too far for too long.
To be real adults, we need to take up a very heavy word, called responsibility. It comes with the wonderful feeling of freedom, but it weighs our wings down heavily, to the point we may not be able to soar as high as we thought we could. But maybe if we are given a chance to tackle this burdensome word earlier, we might be able to truly survive in the harsh world outside. We will no longer be deemed as strawberries. Maybe something a little harder. A yuzu maybe? We still need a long time to turn into diamonds, of course.
P.S: Not all may agree with this term, but I’m talking mostly about myself. My parents are angels =)