Last night, while having dinner Graham posed the question:
“What is old school?”
To which my beloved husband replied, “Your Mom.”
I am two years older than my husband, so I get these barbs on a daily (if not hourly) basis. It’s all in good fun and I can give it even better than I take it.
The conversations we’ve been having with Graham lately is further confirming that he is six going on sixteen. He has a sharp wit, a keen mind and a wicked sense of humor. He is also almost up to my shoulders when he stands next to me. Having a kid who is so grown up all of a sudden has had me pondering my own aging process.
For the first time in my life I am generally comfortable in my body. I am in the best shape that I have ever been and have muscles where I have never seen them before. I have a general idea of what style of clothing looks good on me and I can do my makeup without looking like a call girl. If this is the best I can be, is it all downhill from here? Is this the peak of my physical body? For while I may have new muscles, I also have new wrinkles. That crease between my eyebrows stares back at me daily and reminds me that I am no longer twenty-one with dewy skin. I am aging. It happens to everyone but for some reason I was in denial that it would happen to me.
Having children out of the “baby stage” is contributing to that “getting old” feeling. When I had two preschoolers and a toddler I felt young. Exhausted, yes, but young. I was fertile! I had babies! But now my “baby” is out of diapers, sleeps in a “big girl” bed and rides in a booster seat. She’s technically not a baby anymore.
Part of that fear of aging is thinking about be how my kids will view me. Are they going to look at me how I looked at my own parents when I was a child? As these old people who were cool sometimes but were almost like a whole other species of human beings? Who had no life outside of us kids and seemed almost like one dimensional people? People who were stagnant and maybe a little bit irrelevant?
I’m hoping that maybe the words that I type here can be the bridge between the me that they see me as and the me that I think I am. In addition to being that big person who does their laundry, makes their meals and tells them to STOP FIGHTING ALREADY, I am a (somewhat) balanced human being. I can be funny sometimes, I can be thoughtful sometimes, I have friends that I like to hang out with. I have hobbies and interests and am not just a Mom, but a wife and a friend. An accountant, a photographer, a writer, a lover of life.
I’m youthful. I’m intelligent. I’m fun. I’m quirky. I’m driven. I’m witty. I’m cute. I’m even kind of cool sometimes.
I’m still relevant.