By: Tanya Ward Goodman
I caught a glimpse of a whole new patch of grey hairs yesterday.
“Holy smokes!” I exclaimed. “What the heck is going on here?”
“You’re old,” my son said.
And my daughter echoed “Old, old, old…”
I’m pretty sure these new grey hairs (as well as most of the old ones) can be attributed directly to my kids, so I told them to simmer down and pointed out that while I was perhaps too old to be a prima ballerina or even a pro-football player, I was exactly the right age to be their mother.
Some days, I believe this.
There are other days when I wish I’d had them earlier. I wish I were a young mom with old kids. They’d be in high school or college now and their friends would look at me and say, “Wow, your mom is so young.” I’d have been more energetic in their youth, maybe more fun. I might have wanted to play soccer or have more sack races. I might have been delighted when my son played “Eye of the Tiger” or “Sweet Child of Mine” for the umpteenth time. I might have danced along instead of rolling my eyes and explaining “Mommy can’t make pancakes if she’s being driven slowly insane…”
I might have.
But it didn’t happen that way. Perhaps I am a more patient mother than I would have been in my twenties. I am happy to fall asleep just after my kids go to bed; happy to find myself staying in more than going out. In my twenties, I went to parties that started at 11 o’clock. (And no, they weren’t brunches.) I stayed up to see the sunrise. I drank too much and lived for weeks on Cheez-its. I kissed boys I hardly knew and parked my car on dark streets without a thought. When I really think about myself in my twenties, I’m not sure I was ready for a cat and certainly not a child.
If you are very lucky, things happen when they are supposed to happen. As luck would have it, I think my kids arrived just in time.
More of Tanya Ward Goodman’s writing can be found here