Aging is a painful and gradual process. Honestly, most of us don't realize that it's happening until it's already happened. Every adult has a moment when they come to realize that their youth has officially slipped away and those moments are never fun. With that in mind, the good people at AskReddit had people share their moments of sudden clarity. Without any further ado, please enjoy: 

reddit end of childhood stories

 Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

1. sirdigbykittencaesar had the mother of all realizations:

I've told this before, but when I took my newborn son to the pediatrician for the first time and filled out the paperwork, I got to the blank for "emergency contact." The instructions said that this is usually the mother, so I started to write my mother's name in it, but then I remembered that "the mother" was actually me. Sort of a quiet, life-changing moment.

2. Grubur1515 won....big?:

My wife and I won $600 at bingo...

We got excited because we needed a new washing machine.

3. Talos-the-Divine was a nice man who didn't feel all that nice: 

When a customer at work said to her kid "tell the nice man 'thank you!'"

4. PaladinLab had simple wishes: 

I unironically put socks on my Christmas List.

reddit end of childhood stories

 Happy Stock Photo/Shutterstock

5. At least ufo-party got clean sheets: 

I lived alone at the time and came down with a horrible bout of food poisoning. Threw up all over my kitchen floor trying to make it to the bathroom, and realised that for the first time in my life, I had to clean it up myself.

I had to drag my sick, feverish, nauseous, sad, sorry ass around while I cleaned up the mess, then proceeded to lay down on the tiled floor in the bathroom and cry because I'd finally realised that I was an adult and I was all alone with nobody to take care of me. Nothing makes a fully independent adult miss their mum quite like being sick.

I guess also when I asked for a new set of bed sheets for Christmas and was overjoyed to receive them. I definitely couldn't afford to buy the fancy high thread count cotton sheets I was gifted, that's for sure.

6. NipplezoftheFuture realized that a good deal is a good deal: 

I was working an entry-level job with a couple of my college friends. (We were all in our late twenties at this time, and had just happened to all get jobs at the same place.) I lived a bit further outside of town than they did, so I passed an old, run-down gas station on the way in to work everyday that I usually stopped at for some breakfast and coffee. My "officially an adult" moment came when I found myself telling my friends at work about this great deal on coffee I get at this old gas station down the street, and instead of falling on completely deaf ears, my tales of cheap coffee were surprisingly met with oohhs, ahhhs, and "Damn, that's a good deal." It only later occurred to us that we sounded like a bunch of 60 year old men at a diner.

7. TheManWithNoSchtick lost all hope (In a good way): 

The second time I bought condoms. The first time was motivated by hope, but the second time was motivated by responsibility.

8. xxNTDxx has their priorities in order: 

A few years ago I had a dream where a car I was driving went through the wooden barriers of a pier and careened into the water. I struggled to escape the submerged car and eventually made it to the surface where I gasped for air. The first thought I had was not about surviving the fall, it was "Fuck, my insurance premium is going to skyrocket"

reddit end of childhood stories - crashed car
 iMoved Studio/Shutterstock

9. ThaddeusJP was NOT ready to die: 

I was 26 and dating my, now, wife. Unbelievably sick. She took me to the doctor. I'm in the exam room with her, curled up into a ball on the table waiting. She asks me how I'm feeling and out of nowhere I just thought (and said) "I don't have a will."

Before this "eh, I'm sick but I'll get better". There and after: "I am dying and should get my house in order".

10. FlashpointJ24 thought they were fighting when they were actually scolding: 

My family was at a playground once, and there were some teenagers playing on a special swing designed for special needs and disabled kids--it was extra wide and deep, had straps, etc. The teens where standing on it, leaping off of it, kicking it, just kinda horsing around and showing off. My wife was upset by it; she's especially sympathetic to special needs kids since we have twins on the autism spectrum.
It was the only swing like it, and they could have broken it, so I decided to speak up. I shouted across the playground, in a voice deeper than I intended, "Hey, come on, that swing is for special needs! Knock it off before you break it!"
I expected a confrontation, but they instead just kind of slunk away, looking more embarrassed than anything at being yelled at by a adult.

11. IrishEv learned that being sick isn't all bad:

I was out sick from work and the next day the HR lady asked if I'd like to use one of my paid days off. This blew my mind that they would pay me to not be there. More then getting a drivers license or losing my virginity or any of the normal markers use this was what made me go "I'm an adult now"

12. Tkuenzler learned the most adult thing of all....restraint: 

I was starving so I searched my fridge for food and found hot pockets and decided to make one. After devouring it I grabbed the box again and was about to heat another 1 until I noticed on the back the suggested serving size is 1 and I told myself that I had enough.