Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. (250-650 words)
I have achieved many milestones throughout my life but only one experience so far has truly propelled me into the realm of adulthood. This process took place over ten months and culminated in a few hours. Being the youngest of three children I always dreamed of having a younger boy in the house to play with and the most likely possibility of that happening was through my sister. However, the years went by until that almost long lost childhood wish came true on October 2, 2012. Onaje came into this world at a point in my life when I was struggling between school work, giving my all in my activities and adjusting to the significant increase in difficulty of the work load upon entering sixth form.
Unfortunately, shortly after his birth, my sister became seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. At that point I was automatically assigned the task of taking care of this innocent child as the older folks in the house struggled to maintain the high levels of energy needed to manage Onaje. My evolution started as I moved from changing diapers to bathing him meticulously to ensure his cleanliness remained intact. Along the way, I picked up some of the tricks of the trade for getting a baby to fall asleep and at times I even tried my hand at singing. These became regular aspects of my daily life that had to be balanced with the increasing work load as my internal exams drew closer. However, help arrived in the form of his father after I had completed my exams in December. From then on I played the role of assistant until he had to leave in August of this year to take up a job opening abroad.
It was at this point near the end of summer that I decided to take a bus to visit my family in rural Jamaica. My sister requested that I take Onaje along with me so as to ease her burden as she had not fully recovered. So, on that rainy afternoon with baby in hand, I climbed the steps of that bus with the eyes of the passengers immediately greeting us. They seemed to assume I was a teenage father. At the start I quickly used my reasoning skills to see that he was drowsy and so I fed him to sleep. However, he woke up an hour later with a burst of energy that could contest with the healthiest of people. For the next three hours of the journey I scrambled to find things to occupy his interest. These ranged from playing with the cup holders to pointing at things flashing pass the window to me making a fool of myself in games of peekaboo for his entertainment. There were times I allowed him to greet some of the passengers and he reasoned with them via his own language.
As we approached our destination something about me felt different. The entire journey was a powerful bonding experience. As I disembarked the bus, with Onaje sleeping on one shoulder and his bag over the other, my cousins greeted me with surprise at how comfortable and experienced I appeared. This entire experience which culminated on that day had taught me a level of responsibility I had never been exposed to before. Even my time management skills improved significantly as I juggled school work and helping out with the baby. Life was not just about working hard and achieving success but also involved caring for your family and those around you. Onaje was a reminder that my determination to succeed primarily comes from the desire to improve my family situation. Therefore, I gained a new sense of maturity. It is my personal belief that this entire experience has equipped me with important skills that will benefit me later in life and can be applied to the rigors of college life.