Saturday, July 5, 2014

Women of a Certain Age

A few weeks ago, I turned 32.  Since my heart attack, I have taken great care to celebrate the hell out of my birthday - sometimes, it takes a week just to fully enjoy it.  Maybe that makes me selfish or self-centered... so be it, it only happens once a year. But something felt a little funny about turning 32.  I wasn't nearly as excited as usual - I hadn't roped Brian into nearly enough fun; I didn't pester Cameron to make his mama a cake; and I couldn't figure out what my friends and I would laugh about for the next year. Usually, it's just not that hard. I shared this with friends shortly after extinguishing my birthday candle (in a crepe this year!) and the bluntest of the group promptly responded -  

"You probably don't want to hear this, but you're just crabby that your 32 and still have one kid. I mean, even Cameron's asking for another one. I don't even like kids and I want you to have another one."


We love and hate this friend don't we?? The only one who says what you know is true even though you really want them to keep their damn mouth shut.

So, it was a while back when Cameron was about seventeen months that I really started itching for another child.  It wasn't really that anyone else cared; there was no pressure, no nudging, no nosy-ness. It was just me and that ticking clock. But, I figured it was coming.

Then you turn 32.  Though just a year from 31, it's apparently a huge leap in the direction of 35 - which I've learned from EVERY WOMEN'S MAGAZINE or morning show spotlight that 35 is when your eggs die and womb shrivels up and you begin avalanching downhill toward menopause. Your friends start to find comfort in sharing their "miscarriage" story (Sadly, it seems that more women that I realized have one of these). People begin the ask if your kid is the only child and tell you stories about the ONLY family they know with one kid. Your metabolism continues to slow; and then people eyeball your soft belly and ask if you're pregnant (Hooray, she hasn't doomed her only kid to a life of awkward loneliness!!).

                 A brief aside - if you ever think to ask a women if she's pregnant, consider the following:

                       a) Is a fetus actually falling out of her? (if no, do not ask)
                       b) It's none of your business.
                       c) She might not want or be able to have kids/more kids and now you've ruined her day.
                       d) It's none of your business.

 Ok, anyway - I really do find this business quite funny. I mean, whether your a mom with one kid or five - who really wants to hear about how Kelly Preston, Halle Berry and Gwen Stefani had children in their forties - so honey, there's still time! You can be one of those cool "old moms"!!!

Here's what's true for me - there is some kid in the universe besides Cameron that's mine.  I really hope that kid arrives in the next few years because truth be told, chasing little kids is hard business and I don't want to be the cool old mom who throws her back out playing wrestle and bonk. But I think it's really awful that many women like me (early thirties, able to read/hear) hear how often we're "running out of time" - to find a mate, to have a kid, to have another kid, to settle into our careers, to save for retirement, to have fun, to be young.  I mean, it's almost laughable if it wasn't sooooooooo annoying. And I know what is true for me isn't true for you. I hope you can embrace your truth (and even the fact that the truth can change!)

In the end, it just so happened that the Missouri Botanical Gardens threw a "Be a Kid" party on my birthday - inviting adults into the Children's Garden for an evening of kid-like fun.  Which wound up being the best way to spend my 32nd birthday.  Who would have thought?!

Climbing up was easy (In kitten heels no less!)
But getting down? Not so much

Lucky me, with the best friends & family!

Wishing :)

And, a few other photos from a GREAT birthday celebration - 

“To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.”
― Barbara Kingsolver

PS - I just want to say that some of the most AMAZING women in my life are over 40 and if at 32 I'm noticing all this crap, they must be super annoyed! Or, maybe at 40+ you really screen out the crap.

PPS - I could just kick myself realizing how long it's been since I've had a chance to write. Don't let me get away with that!!

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