Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stumbling past...







  Have you ever heard the saying "kids keep you young"? I swear the people who say it either never had kids or are suffering some form of dementia.  There is no doubt about it-kids age you. Mind you, it isn't all bad.  In some ways the aging includes wisdom-knowledge..a different perspective on the world.  On the other hand though, they can just plain wear you out...until you are nothing more than a dried out husk. I think the trick is in finding your balance-your joy.  Especially during the difficult times..say when your three year old son is having a freakout on line at the supermarket-and your eighteen month old daughter (seeing your distraction) unclips herself from her seat and decides to take a ride down the check outs conveyor belt.  Now you have a choice. You can either grab your son and yell to your daughter (and vice versa) OR you can redirect your boy and watch your daughter enjoy the ride. Me?  I'm all for enjoying the ride.   .

 This week,I will be celebrating my forty seventh year. Holy crap forty seven!! How did that happen?  I've been happily skipping along-enjoying the roller coaster that life is-and BAM!  All of a sudden I'm thinking about my mortality. I think kids do that. I mean, I never really thought about "THE END" until I had kids. My life-being alive..never seemed more important than when they entered the picture.  I very much remember the day Sammy was born..holding my little chubby headed baby boy..and thinking "I need to be around for at least twenty one more years." I'm guessing that this is a natural reaction to new parenthood. Especially because they are so small and vulnerable.  It isn't till later when they start asserting their independence...say, in the form of running down the street wearing only socks that you wonder-"WILL I make it twenty one years-or will I collapse from sheer exhaustion before then?"

 Yes, parenting has aged me. But it has also expanded me-brought me places I never imagined standing. Like the middle of a Walmart on a busy Sunday afternoon because it is Spring and I think it is necessary that we have the appropriate bubbles and sidewalk chalk to play with. Or the back of a classroom on a Wednesday morning watching your son give a report to his class. Places I thought I would never want to be..(well I still don't want to be at Walmart) and yet there I am..content (again, not at Walmart-but definitely buying bubbles).  Almost forty seven and excited over side walk chalk. Who knew?

  I can't tell you where it is I expected to be at forty seven years of age-if you had asked me twenty years ago, it certainly wouldn't have been here.  Yet, I am oddly giddy about where I am.  Sure, I could complain..rail against the gods..gnash my teeth and bemoan the consequences of my life. I could sit and whine..cry about autism..bitch and moan and protest at the unjustness that I see in the world..at the behaviors of my children, of all the work ahead and behind. I could...but it wouldn't be honest.  It wouldn't. I'm not saying that I don't have days where I want to quit.  Oh there have been plenty of times when I have called Omar at work and given my "two week" notice. I am a mother after all..we are allowed to complain from time to time.  Just not ALL the time. I think that for every one complaint there ought to be twice as many compliments. Just sayin...

  It's hard to look back on, but when I was in my teens and early twenties, I didn't think I would even make it to thirty. I didn't even care. I lived hard..and I must admit..there were moments when I had a hell of a lot of fun.  But the fun never really outweighed the consequences..it was tumultuous...crazy..and sometimes very dark.  Looking back sometimes makes me cringe. *sigh* But sometimes...sometimes your past has a way of creeping up on you in the middle of the night, knocking you down..shaking you up..making you question your present. Especially when your present is so damn incredible.  Sometimes when I am in the grip of the past, I find myself wondering just what it is that I have done to deserve this life of mine...and I mean that in the best way. Oh, I worry- about being worthy, competent...Of living up to the privilege of raising these four incredible children-who love me thoroughly and completely- leaving me breathless.... And then, the toilet overflows..or the dogs throw up..and the kids need to be fed..and the laundry done..it is then that I find my balance and remember to breathe(or call Omar)..Remember that the past is what makes the now so much more..

  Saying that my kids" keep me young" just doesn't sound right-to me. They definitely keep me present..and joyful-overwhelmed and scattered. They sure do make the ride far more interesting than I ever could. But young?  No.  I am going to be forty seven..and although mentally I could pass for twelve(possibly even maturity wise)...my body..*sigh* can not. Maybe I'll  think differently when I'm in my eighties...when dementia sets in...perhaps I'll start wearing a bikini then..or ride a motorcycle(but not at the same time.....not that I want you to visualize an eighty year old in a bikini on a fast motorcycle with the wind blowing through her hanging arm wrinkles)-they will all be way over twenty one. But till then..I'll just count my years along with my blessings...and hope that I get some good presents.

13 comments:

Life in the House That Asperger Built said...

Happy Birthday!!!! :-)

Please stay off motorcycles in bikinis please!!!

Lizbeth said...

I bet it was a man who said that. ;) Its weird...I feel like I'm 14 until I try to get up and my knee gives out...mentally I'm right there at 14 but my body's like hey wait up, that just hurt!"

I like your perspecitve and happy 12th birthday!!!!

KWombles said...

Wonderful and funny! Hee, I immediately envisioned Mamma H and the ride in the back of the pickup with the raisin when I got to your last paragraph. :-)

Angela said...

Happy Birthday :) I vote for hearing some of the stories from the "hell of fun time" ;)

jazzygal said...

Ah, brilliant Kathleen! Love it. We think alike you and me. I am worn out after this 2 week school holiday, that's not even over yet...but I'm also exhilarated . In my head I'm still age 26 and think that I can do anything. ANYTHING. In reality I am 2 years older than you so I totally get where you're coming from. And I can still do ANYTHING;-)

A big Happy Birthday to you Kathleen :-)

xx Jazzy

kathleen said...

@life in the house-I can't promise that. But if I do live that long and decide on the motorcycle and bikini-you can be sure that I'll swing by your way and pick you up. heehee..Thanks for the b-day wishes..:)

@Lizbeth-you're probably right!! Sigh..I have crappy knees too! But I am trying to convince myself it is from all the sports that I played and not age. Yup-14? I understand...maybe one day when we are 21 we will meet for cocktails!!
Thanks. :)

@Kwombles..heehee yup..riding fast..breasts blowing back by my ears...pretty! heehee

@Angela-oh..I wouldn't be able to call it a family blog then!!

@Jazzy-Of course you can still do anything!! You are only 26!! I hope the rest of the holidays go smoothly...wii boy sounds like he is doing fantastically. :) Thanks for the birthday wishes..:)

Big Daddy Autism said...

Happy B-Day. I wish I knew you when we were in our 20s or early 30s. We could've caused some damage.

Anonymous said...

Great post Dear. Let's see, if you are 12 going on thirteen, I would be 18 going on 19. Could you move it up?. I really had a blast at 23. Thanks for the reminder about Zoe and the conveyor belt. I laughed all over again. Early Happy Birthday! Love, Ei

Lynn said...

I'm 47 too. I could never say if I am where I thought I'd be because I never thought I'd be 47. There's no doubt that for me having a child aged me fast. I hope I make it at least another 10. By that time there will be more than just wrinkles blowing in the breeze...my boobs will be flying over my shoulder too. Happy Birthday!!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday :D I'm a couple of years ahead of you and also didn't expect to see 30 and for similar reasons! You'll have to share some of the stories from your 20s one day xx

Patty O. said...

Happy birthday! I agree that kids keep us in the moment, and while they may age us, they do help us see the world through different eyes. The other day, my daughter squealed with delight as we drove through a giant puddle and I thought, "When the kids grow up, who will I laugh with over crazy things like puddles and puppies and things kids love?" I guess my grandkids....

Stephanie said...

Happy Birthday! (I'll say again via Facebook.) I agree, though I'm still in my thirties, that kids do age you.

They're always, if not faster, more energetic, always in motion. Stillness becomes a luxury. Fatigue something of a constant.

But wiser, more knowledgeable (especially about Pokemon, Mario, and the like), and so much more...yeah, "present" is a good word for it!

Diane said...

Finally trying to catch up on my reading. Hope you enjoyed your birthday. Love your perspective. Trying to get rid of that bikini, motorcycle image in my mind, though...