Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Middle ages

That phrase used to conjure up images of knights in shining armor, wandering minstrels, kings, queens, and breath taking castles with moats. How is it that I find myself here now? I don’t see any chicks with crowns at Stop and Shop. But here I am. I stumbled upon that realization this week.

My parents were staying with us for Easter. They’ve retired upstate (for now) and come down for holidays or for nothing and stay here in my guestroom/office. They are good eggs, helpful, mostly fun to be around, get along well with the hubby. My children are their only grandchildren so of course they are “all that” and a bag of chips as far as they are concerned.

So in the midst of this love fest there I lie…in the middle. The middle generation. Middle aged. Old enough to have a mortgage, eye cream and those magnifying reading glasses you get in the drug store. But not old enough to have nothing to do but watch the news, buy lottery tickets and admire my grandchildren. Not young enough either to burst into the house, plop my ass at the dinner table and wonder aloud “whatta we eatin’?” or sleep until noon ‘cause I can.

I am the child and the parent. Editing what I say in front of the parents because they really don’t need to know all the gory details of my night out with the girls. Besides I don’t want to hear how did I really
“ need to be going up to the local bar? It IS Good Friday after all!” Shushing teenagers who think 11:30 pm is not too late to be running up and down the halls laughing while their grandparents are sleeping behind that bedroom door!!!!!!!! Making sure all meals are home cooked…no take-out this week. Don’t you know how much money you waste not cooking dinner home seven days a week???? So I juggle 90 balls in the air to keep the older and younger generations happy, smile while I hear what I just did wrong when I disciplined my son,(I did say yes when asked if I wanted an opinion after all…I’m sorry I didn’t know I had a choice!!) all this while trying not to run screaming from the building.

Looking through photo albums this week also made me realize I think Middle Age arrived when I wasn’t looking. I certainly didn’t invite it. I see that young mom in those pictures…she looks frazzled with two very small children but I’ll be dammed if I see a line or wrinkle on her face. I know I can’t say the same about the person that looks back at me in the mirror now.

But when I look in the mirror I may see lines and I don’t like it. But the lines are from years of laughing ‘til my sides ached, crying until my heart broke, getting so mad I couldn’t see straight, or kissing my kids until they squirmed to get away. They tell the story of my life, the good and the bad. But it’s my story and my life. I wouldn’t change a line.

And really what are the “middle ages” anyway? Forty-something is middle aged if I plan on living to Eighty-something. But with medical technology what it is and will be, I could live to 100+ then I will be middle aged in my 50’s…does that mean I am just a spring chicken? I’ll take it.

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