Friday, October 2, 2009

Milestones – A Sad but True Fact of Life

This year both of my children reached milestone birthdays. My daughter turned 40 in March and my son, my little baby boy, turned 35 in August. I called both children – one lives out of the city, and the other lives out of the state, and wished them a very happy birthday, and of course, made sure they knew they were getting closer to my age!

I’ve been sitting here thinking that at any moment I’m going to get all sappy and begin crying as I remember the times I shared with my little ones. My children have grown and gone – left the house – left the building and left mom behind. The only thing I can think of now that they have reached these milestones, is how much older I am.

I certainly don’t feel older than 40 or even 35. Although, I am beginning to show my age somewhat. I have a few more wrinkles and my crow’s feet are beginning to sprout wings and my hands – well, I just tell everyone I had freckles when I was younger and they never went away. A little fib or two never hurt anyone.

I asked my daughter how it feels to be 40. Does it feel any different than being in her 30’s?

“Mom,” darling daughter replies, “I don’t have time for this. I have to get the kids to football/baseball/basketball/cheerleading practice and I’m running late because my boss threw a huge project on my desk at 10 minutes to five and wants it done before I leave the office, then I have to pick up hubby from the airport where he’s returning from a work conference, then we have to stop by the mechanic and pick up his car, go by the cleaners, stop at the grocery store and get one or two of the kids to the tutor.”

I called my wonderful little boy to wish him a happy birthday too, and I posed nearly the same question to him as well – how does it feel to be 35?

“Mom, he implored, “I’m busy. I’m headed out of town for a new project and I’ve got three new men to train, so I have to develop their training, work on the project, make sure they know what they are doing, then I have to get home in two days, take the boys to football practice, make sure wife has some time to herself and that she and the girls can all get to the next birthday party/church social/school meeting/dance classes and then I need to mow our two acres, work on the fence, take the dogs to the vet…….”

He was still talking as his cell signal slowly faded away.

So much for a “rite of passage” into the middle of their lives.

I remember one of my “rites of passage” into the adult world. Newly married, I had just turned 21 (yes, I’m not too old or senile to remember that far back!) I didn’t go out drinking as so many new 21 year-olds are wont to do… no, hubby and I went out for a nice dinner at a reasonably priced restaurant. Hubby was just slightly younger than moi… he was not yet 20 and both of us looked like we were teenagers still in high school. I proudly showed the waiter my ID for the glass of white wine I was hoping to taste. The waiter looked at me, looked at the ID, looked at dear new hubby and laughed out loud.

I asked what he found so funny, and he said, “You and this ID.” He was laughing and coughing so hard I thought he was going to pop a vein.

“You kids,” he exhaled, “You kids are just so cute, do your parents know you’re here?”

So much for turning 21 and trying on my new legal status! And, no, I didn’t get to taste my first glass of wine that night. I still don’t look my age, at least that’s what people tell me when I tell them I have 12 grandchildren, but I do get served a glass of wine when I want one.

So many young people today don’t think they ever will age including my children. Yet, both of them have finally realized that the years are starting to go by just a little faster, and as their children turn to full-fledged teenagers, they look at me and finally, with great reluctance realize they truly are catching up with Mom!

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