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Time Goes By

    So why is it when you're 12 you can't wait to be 24? And when you're 24 you can't wait to be 28? And then all of a sudden you're 52 and you wonder what the hell just happened? And to top it all off, more times than you care to admit, you still feel like you're 12 even when you're 52.
    I think it's best to give up on the whole age categorical pigeon-holing process. It's not reality. It's more a prolonged wives' tale of sorts. One the whole universe has bought into.
    Everyone tells us when we're growing up something like, "Just you wait until you're older. Wait until you have kids of your own. Wait until you pay your own rent…"  And we're young and we believe it and we get real nervous about turning 20 and we think about  paying our rent and heat bill, not to mention food and cable.
    Then the next thing you know we are 20 and we can't wait to get out of our mother's house. We're drinking out of pickle jars and eating ramen noodles in a 400-square-foot apartment with two roommates and it's the best stinking thing ever. It's not really scary and it's pretty damn awesome.
    Then we meet some cute guy who happens to stick his bottom lip out after we have a fight, and he can whisk together a great omelet on Sunday mornings. The next thing you know, we're living together in a 650-square-foot apartment and eating Lipton noodles and thinking they are pretty amazing when we add some tofu and mushrooms to them. We're paying all our bills with just enough left over to go to the thrift store to search for the perfect bookcase. We find it and all is well.
    Then we have our first real panic attack because our friends are solidifying their relationships with earth-friendly wedding bands and having babies in wading pools in their living rooms while we're still eating eggs on Sunday with a little Bailey's in our coffee. Surely having that baby makes it all real. Surely that makes them mature.
    Eventually, that cute guy proposes and we get married in the park wearing spiffy clothes we scrounged from our sources. Everyone is happy and they bring a dish to pass and they make a grand toast to us with some expensive champagne bought by our parents for the occasion.
    We keep working and paying our own cable bill. The car breaks down sometimes and we have to take the bus. We think about saving all our change to take a summer trip someplace other than Ohio to see our parents. We adopt a cat from the shelter and decide to eat butter noodles for a week so we can afford to get her spayed.
    At some point one of us gets a raise and we can actually order out once a week and we think about getting a bigger place. Just when we're considering all this, the stick we dip turns pink and here we are.
    So we have a baby. It's pretty amazing. We breast feed him and mash boiled organic carrots and bananas and hope for the best. He sleeps in bed with us more than not and that guy with the cute bottom lip turns a bit more serious and he looks awfully cute when he worries about the baby's temperature when he's cutting his first tooth.
    Now we're thinking about buying a real house and we have towels that match our shower curtain. We have jobs. We have car insurance. We have a food processor to make the baby's food. We go to the thrift shop for a good deal. We're looking at preschools.
    We talk to our mother every week, at least once. We're lucky she lives close by and we see her for pot roast on Sundays, a time honored tradition. She imparts advice that now somehow sounds like Confucius when before we thought she was crazy. She plays with our baby with the agility and wisdom of a sage. We don't remember her treating us with such gentleness.
    Then the next thing you know, we're 40 and telling our baby…."Just you wait until you're older. Wait until you have kids of your own."
    Then we're 52 and wearing Cobbie Cuddlers. We ask at the end of the day, "What the hell just happened?"


Deb said…
You're such a good writer!
Connie Berry said…
Well of course I published that comment:)

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