Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Old Lady Land

I smiled today.  A dear friend on Facebook recently shared her anxiety having joined the ranks of those who have let a child loose behind the wheel while clutching their license in their hands. My friend was feeling the incongruence between the joyful release from driving this child to and fro and the belly twisting fear that at any second, there would be a knock at the door behind which would stand a New York State Trooper and a cleric.

Having successfully delivered two sons into the asphalt jungle, I felt her pain. It really becomes an exercise in faith and trust, doesn’t it? If you believe in God or a higher power, you give yourself and your children into His hands. If you don’t claim such a belief, I imagine you let your children loose trusting them and keeping faith in all that you taught to keep them safe.

It’s also another meander down the road of your life. When you realize that you are old or at least oldering. The babies that came squalling out of your womb, that you nursed, changed, fed, bathed, nurtured, taught, cried for and wept with are now driving. They are big now. They can beat you up maybe; certainly they can run faster than you can, so it’s not like you can smack ‘em anymore. They duck and laugh. It’s humiliating really.

But now they are now seated behind a glass partition with bullets aimed directly at their little heads. We’ve put them in front of those bullets on purpose and they, in their turn, are thrilled at the prospect. Demand it really, the little sticks. It wasn’t that long ago that you too seized the feeling of freedom and you remember thrill that you got knowing you were untouchable.

Ahhh, but dame experience has taught that you really were pretty stupid at that age, that you most certainly aren’t untouchable, and that anything can happen.

That’s not what makes you feel old. Nooo. See, you still think you’ve got it going on, you have some influence, you’re hip and pretty freaking fabulous!  But then your daughter takes the keys one day and you hear your mother come out of your mouth (you can’t stop this, don’t even try).  Her eyes glaze over and she’s decided that you are just too old to live but she won't say it because what's the’re too old to hear her anyway.  You aren’t feeble yet, you see all this run through her face in a split second...and that’s when it happens.  You know that you're old. You feel it. It is at that second that all the calcium leaves your bones and your hip breaks.

Not long after that you get progressive lenses, take Geritol and secretly start to pay attention to ads for Depends. 

We all eventually embrace our inner old lady. She’s glorious. So are we.  We remember, that one day, the little buttholes will get old too.  And we smile.


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