Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What Happened?

I saw a quote recently that really resonated with me.

Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.


The Playkids have been plagued lately with a barrage of ailments (Smarty Pants doesn't have a kid, but she has a DB, which is pretty much the same thing). And when a kid is sick, that means Mommy gets to be a nurse instead of a writer. Also, school is out and the kids are home all day long. This means you must feed them three meals a day, keep them entertained, play referree if you have more than one child and in general relinquish any semblance of a personal life and schedule.

Been. There. Done. That.

And now I'm in the position where I don't get yanked out of a night's sleep by a vomiting child or called from school because my kid has a one hundred degree fever. I can pretty much sleep til 8:00 every day with the only disruption being the DH's snoring (though praise be for ear plugs).

We moved into a new house a few years ago and I tell folks it's our "middle-age-friendly" house. It's all brick with vinyl trim so the maintenance is low. It's all one level (except for a bonus room over the garage, which I graciously gave to the DH for his "stuff") and the lot is flat. It's the first house I've ever had that wasn't decorated in early mother-in-law hand-me-downs, outlet store bargains and Little Tikes.

Every time I visit one of the other Playfriends' homes, she begins to apologize for the toys and things scattered about. And every time I tell her not to worry because I've been there and done that. When they ride in my car they joke that it's like being on an airplane because there's a pillow and blanket in the backseat. They also comment about the lack of Cheerios and Happy Meal wrappers in the floor. And once again I tell them that I've been there and done that.

The oldest Playfriend was born seven months before I got married and the youngest is the same age as my older son. We have a generation gap in some respects, but I've never played the "Mama card" with one exception. In Reno they were going clubbing and I told them "I won't bail you out." I told my own kids the same thing. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. ;-)

Trust me when I tell you that the days of sleepless nights and Happy Meal wrappers will be over before you know it.

Now I'm in a new stage of life: being a grandmother, or Grammy as BabyGrand calls me. She will be two years old next Sunday and inside this old Grammy is a young person wondering what the heck happened and where the years went.

Have you had any age-related revelations lately?

P.S. The Writing Playground blog had its 100,000th hit yesterday! In celebration of this milestone, one lucky commenter will be picked at random to get a selection of books in a variety of genres, some autographed, along with some chocolate since BabyGrand has obviously tapped into the whole female and chocolate phenomenon. ::grin::


Nicola Marsh said...

I have them every day!
I have a 4 year old and a 12 month old. Every time I get clothes out for the baby, it feels like I just put them away from his older brother. Where did the last 4 years go?
I'm also facing a milestone b'day later this year...yikes! How can that be? Surely I only just left school? At least, that's what it feels like sometimes... :)
Oh, that's right, that was 20 years ago!!!

Wendy said...

Hi, PM! Can't say I've had any age-related revelations but I'm barely 20 years old. It does feel like time is going so fast though.. just yesterday I was 19! and I thought I was stay 19 for years! :)

Jen said...

My daughter seems to be growing up in the blink of an eye and I just try to embrace every day of it.

And your BabyGrand is simply beautiful. I'm sure you're smitten beyond measure.

Instigator said...

Yep, my girls are growing up waaayyy too fast. You'll have to come back tomorrow to read their latest escapade (nope, no farm animals) but they're usually what reminds me that I' the wisdom of experience. Yeah, that's what we'll call it.

Oh, and the fact that my body seems to be slowly falling apart. I'm too young for that! Although, apparently no one mentioned this to my cramping hips and feet, my ringing ears or my back and neck muscles that seem to seize for no good reason. Of course, now that I think about it perhaps my body's just telling me to get my butt back in the gym. Hmm, I need to think about that over chocolate.


Kristen Painter said...

My most recent age-related revelation is that 38 is still pretty darn hot. lol

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the 100,000th hit, yeah!!!! In the past week, my brother & I are getting my home ready to put on the market and I feel OLD from all the physical work!! I am one tiredddd puppy. And this past year I have to keep reminding myself that my son is/was a junior in high school. Yep, he passed and is now a senior, oh wow! Funny, I graduated high school in 1979 and he will graduate in 2009.
ps...what a precious babygrand that you have.

Barbara Vey said...

I'm with you PM. Sometimes I have to stop and think when someone asks how old I am. I am now doing things I never thought possible.

And while I love my children dearly and my my grandchildren are my heart, I have definitely been there and done that.

Am now looking for new things to do, so in 20 years I can again say, "Where did the years go?"

Problem Child said...

Ah, see PM, I'm not apologizing for the toys--I'm apologizing because I'm simply a slob with a messy house/car!

AC will be 7 in a couple of weeks and she's becoming amazingly self-sufficient--until she starts to puke.

And my inner 21-year-old objects every day to being 35. But at camp last weekend, I met a 21-year-old counselor who said I was cool and gave him hope for growing up and not becoming boring. Point for me!

Smarty Pants said...

I don't even want to know what my house will look like once I have kids. I might just collapse in on itself like the house at the end of Carrie or Poltergeist. I remember my house back before DB moved in. It was clean and quiet and neat. Sigh... now he's converted me into a slob.

Time just flies. LS will be 5 in a couple weeks. I found one of her baby socks in the trunk of my car a few weeks ago. She always used to rip them off while we drove. I looked at that teeny tiny sock and thought...what happened? I mean, she's starting school this fall! Crazy.

Playground Monitor said...

Nicola, thanks for popping back in today. It's been fun having you visit from Down Under. You'll have to teach us some more slang. Oh... and can you send us a care package with Vegemite and Tim Tams? LOLOL!

Jen,I am beyond smitten with BabyGrand. And I got the proofs for her two-year-old photos yesterday and have spent way too much time gazing at them.

Wendy, I can remember being 20. And I thought I'd never get to 21 so I could buy liquor. Of course once the fruit wasn't forbidden, it wasn't quite as tempting. ;-)

LOL Kristen. 38 IS hot. And so's 48 and 58 (oh please let it be cause that's how old I'll be next year).

Robertsonreads, I remember senior years with my boys. So much going on with college decisions and then finally graduation. And once that was over, we started all over again with college. #2 son started back to grad school in January (and made a 4.0 his first semester, she says proudly).

Barbara, you are one of the youngest people I know! Your story of your career change and your Weight Watchers experience is such an inspiration. I'm sure the other Playfriends feel as I do that we were blessed to meet you last summer. And we can't wait to see you again in San Francisco!


Playground Monitor said...

Oh my gosh! I just got this from my mom in an email. I hope she doesn't mind that I tell you she's an amazingly young 81 years old and still going like the Energizer Bunny.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .. I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set . They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just aswell forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

I take issue with that flatter belly part. Of course I wouldn't trade my friends or family for it, but can't I work out and have both???

PM - who looks in the mirror and asks "What's my mother doing here?"

Kathy said...

Great post, PM. Your grandbaby is adorable! Another chocolate convert. Woot!

Anonyomous, I graduated in '79. At #3's graduation a little over a week ago, I learned that the class of '79 was the biggest HS class in history. That is, until now. The class of 2008 has surpassed us. Odd, how it was my own #3's class that did it.

I often wonder why I try so hard to maintain the 19 year old that lives in my body. She doesn't recognize my mirror image and woot's when someone thinks I'm younger than I really am. In fact, at Target the other day, a cashier asked if #4 and I were sisters. Not surprisingly, I waved my arms into the air, grabbed her wonderful hand and told her how much I loved her and that she was my newest, bestest friend.

Ah, yes. Bliss!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Wow, PM, I was all set to reply to your post when I read what your mother said. She is one amazing lady. And she's so right! Even at 40, I recognize how much better I am at accepting myself than I was at 25.

And this, even at 40, is the truth: As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.

Oh, I'm not going to say I wouldn't like 10 years back so I could change some things (hubby and I forgot to have kids, for one thing, and I think I could be ready for that now). But I try to remember that when I'm 50, I'll look back and think I was still so young at 40. Though age isn't irrelevant in the sense of aches, pains, etc, it's still possible to be confident and happy at any age -- so long as you accept it and do the best you can to maintain yourself.

Great post, wonderful pic of the BabyGrand!

ruth said...

I have age-related revelations daily. Since my daughters are 24 and 25 I wonder how that happened so quickly. Now I know, life flies by and make the most of the time since it is precious and should be treasured.

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your 100,00 post!
Time flies. I just realize recently that it has been 20 years since I graduated high school. Wow!
Your mother's email is amazing.
You have a beautiful grandbaby. :)

anne said...

Age related revelations are a daily occurrence for me especially lately. My two sons are now both married and no one is home. What a change that is. Lots to be grateful for and they are wonderful boys. When your children are adults it certainly is a revelation just when you thought you were youthful.

Lois said...

I just realized that next year will be 15 years since I graduated high school. Yikes! But then, hey, I don't even know where yesterday went, let alone 15 years. LOL :)


petite said...

I think about age-related issues daily. They face you each day and if you are one of the fortunate ones great health is to be held onto tightly. I so enjoyed your mother's wonderful, wise and beautiful sentiments.

ellie said...

Since I turned a certain age, I do regard certain issues often. Changed have occurred, within my body and have to be addressed. Your post today was timely and unique. Your mother's exceptional e-mail should be saved and savored.

Liza said...

I'm exactly 20 years older than my oldest niece. She will graduate from high school next year.

PM, your grandbaby is such a cutie!

terrio said...

GrandBaby is beautiful but your mother is my hero. Oh to be half that wise someday.

I'm facing my 20 year reunion in 2 years, my 8 yr old is growing way too fast and my body is falling apart. Age is definitely an issue. My knees are shot and I recently developed what I think is arthritis in my right hand. Oh, and there's these shiny silver hairs I can't seem to cover for the life of me.

But as the saying goes, getting old is better than the alternative. I'm looking forward to the day I have an empty house. That's when I'll be able to catch up on this giant TBR pile.

Diane Graham said...

I just had one: I can't remember my Blogger login. LOL! I know I have it written somewhere.

I mostly lurk here but thought I'd comment. I'm pushing 60 and I can so identify with that email from your mother. I am far less critical of myself and others now. And writing -- or trying to write -- has been an endeavor that has come with age too. I've always loved to read and would occasionally put down thoughts on paper, mostly recollections of family events and such. But one day a few years ago I decided to try and write fiction. Some days are good and some aren't. But I enjoy it and it keeps me out of trouble. ::wink::

The Playground Monitor is right. The sleepless nights and sick children and messy houses and cars will pass all too soon and you too will be wondering, in a good way, what happened.


Maven Linda said...

Sigh. Let's see . . . the eyes give out between 40 and 45. The knees wait until around 50.

On the other hand, wow, I wouldn't trade any of these years for anything. I know a lot. I have power now that I didn't have when I was 18, or even 21. By the time I was 30, I was coming into my own, and you know what? It felt GOOD. You couldn't pay me to go back to my twenties, even if you threw in the good body.

Instigator, get thee some potassium and start taking it every day. Eat a banana every day, or a couple of kiwi. You need potassium; that's why your feet and legs are cramping.

Cathy said...

My last son just graduated from college. How the heck did that happen, anyway? It's like I blinked and those years just swept by.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on 100,000! That's a big number.

It is amazing to me how fast they grow up. Last year as I watched my oldest graduate from high school it didn't seem possible. i definitely don't miss the vomitting in the middle of the nigh though.

Anonymous said...

Dear Playground Monitor,
I sent the email before I read your're welcome!
I may be going like the energizer bunny, but sometimes I need to stop and recharge my battery.
I,too, have a messy house. Every other Wednesday morning I have to "clean up" for the house cleaners. I don't pay them to pick up my junk. At 81 I am still a pack rat (and my closet proves it.)
The closet rod broke the other day, which tells me to get rid of all those "thinner" clothes, (I'll never be able to wear them again.)
Goodwill, here I come!

Your Mother

Angel said...

Oddly enough, I started thinking aobut this this morning. My birthday is next week. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I have had trouble remembering how old I am. ;)

I figured it up and I'll be 34 this year. Weird. I am glad about how much better I feel about myself and I'm learning to treat myself better, so hopefully my 40s will be even better.

Looking at my youngest gives me those "where did the time go" moments. He's out of the baby stage and I'm anticipating the moment when I'll no longer get those sweet kisses and cuddling.


Ellen said...

At age 63 I definately wonder "WHAT HAPPENED?" Even getting out of bed in the morning is not as easy as it use to be!
Congratulations on your 100,000 hit.

Cherie J said...

I can so totall relate with wnat Nicola said. I just turned 40 this past year and I have a 4 1/2 year old and a 19 month old. When the kids allow me time to think I wonder whatever possessed me to have kids at this age. Unfortunately, it took a long time for me to find my soul mate so hubby and I got married in our 30's. Still, I wouldn't trade them for the world.

diane said...

Congrats on the 100,000 hit. Wonderful.
Age issues are prevalent since my kids are all on their own which is nice to see. Life has a habit of rushing past so quickly.
Your mom's e-mail is so special and should be saved forever.

Anonymous said...

yea congrats to all of you who work so hard for us with all the guest authors and contest/ i will keep coming back. thanks all
kim h

catslady said...

I have a 24 and 21 yr. old and sunday we're having a bridal shower for my oldest - she gets married in July and my other daughter leaves for college. I guess the next stage will be grandmotherhood and since I waited 15 years before having kids, I'm ready lol.

Virginia said...

Oh yes I have had age related revelation. I think once you hit 40 you have all kinds of them. It is all down hill from there.

Jeanette J said...

The main age thing that has happened to me is realizing my 'kids' are now 27 and 29...ouch. My husband has an emroidered shirt that says How The Hell Did I Get This Damned Old?...which pretty much says it all for me.

Michele L. said...

WOOT! WOOT! WOOHOO! Congratulations on hitting 100,000!!!

I am 47 years old young. I do feel aches and pains from time to time but who doesn't? I just kick in and do my best. I take care of my 83 year old mom and my hubby along with a part time job so I get pretty tired at times but, hey, that's what life is all about. Taking care of one another.

Well, my hubby just turned NIFTY FIFTY! He is still one hot Italian! Anyway, you all have a fun week!

Michele L.

tetewa said...

That's awesome! SWEET! That's alot of hits!

Nicola Marsh said...

PM, be careful what you wish for.
I could teach you loads of fun slang that'll keep you all bamboozled for ages :)

Tim Tams...yum!!! And kinder kid had Vegemite sandwiches today for lunch.
Care package request duly noted ;)