it isn’t supposed to be like this

As if no one knows, I am 50 years old. I’ve been doing this math problem in my head since January, and it’s easier to do with a number that ends in ‘0’. Here’s the calculation: When my mom was x years old, I was y years old. Then this whole list of things starts popping into my head, things that were happening in my life when I was y and my mother was 50.

OK, that sounds really confusing. Here’s an example: when my mom was 50, I had a 2 year old son and was working full time (plus some) as a systems analyst. I was also singing the the church choir, finding out that I had fibromyalgia and wondering what life was going to look like on the other side of that realization. Stuff like that.

So now that I’m 50, I start thinking about where my kids could have been by now, if I’d had them at the same age mom was when she had me. I could be a grandmother. There’s a mind-blower. I could be experiencing the empty nest that everyone talks so glowingly about. We could be finished with (at least) one iteration of  one of the kids (who would be adults) having changed careers.

I have two cousins that are a bit younger than me. One has three children, a sophomore in high school, a senior in high school, and a 21-year-old who can’t figure out who she is or what she wants out of life. She tried college; she tried Parris Island (lasted about 4 weeks), and now she is back home, working and studying automobile maintenance at the local community college, only girl in the program. Sounds like fun.

The other cousin has three children too. One is 22, in Iraq.The second one is 20, in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii. The third just had a baby, so my cousin is a grandmother.

These are all concepts that are kinda hard for me to grasp my sad little brain around.

Here’s another one: one of my children has been booted from the family domicile. Never, ever thought I’d be here, at this time in my life, dealing with this kind of problem.

Surprise! Woody Allen said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” So true. Now there are all of these pieces of things that I thought would be one way, scattered around the edges of my life. And his life, too.

Tough love is hard, damned hard. We’ll get through this, and the result of the putting of pieces back together won’t look like it did before the glass was broken. I don’t like the not knowing part.

Too bad. It’s here and I have to deal with it.

But, as Scarlett O’Hara said: “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

And cousin Melanie: “Whatever happens, I’ll love you just as I do now until I die.”

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3 responses to “it isn’t supposed to be like this

  1. ha! Man plans, God laughs.

    I want you to read this:

    http://alectosophelia.typepad.com/alectos_ophelia/2007/04/its_only_for_a_.html

    And this:

    http://alectosophelia.typepad.com/alectos_ophelia/2007/04/post_partum_bab.html

    Such a terrible, painful time. Here’s the song and the puppets from Avenue Q and you know, when we had to go to that without him it felt just tragic because I’d gotten him the orange fur covered book for Christmas but I remember him standing before me wrapped in the blanket I knit him crying to break my heart. So many things that happened before and after that still break my heart but if I hadn’t done what I did then God only knows.

  2. who the h*ll promised life was going to be any particular way at all? And Alecto, have to re-read those posts? “service”??? Whew. I don’t think you and I were in touch quite yet when that happened but whew.

    When my mother was 50, she was having an affair and neither my life nor hers had fallen apart yet. From 51 to 54 or so were her hell years (or mine? or our non-collective salvation?), until the other ones started, the ones from about 70 on (although she was no fan of her 60s either — somewhat interestingly she thought the 50s were ok). None of us had had kids yet and wouldn’t until she was 62. OTOH, my husband graduated with someone who had 5 grandkids when they (that graduating class) were 38 (we were just barely pregnant for the first time).

    maybe you should read Tom Robbin’s Villa Incognito — “It is what it is. You are what you it. There are no mistakes.” See, not only no coincidences but no mistakes.

  3. My mom was 40 when she had me and I was the last of seven. I had my first child at 20, my middle child at 26 and my third child at 39. I am now 49 and there is a difference having a child when you are younger than when your are older. I also have three grandchildren now. A granddaugther that lives with me and a granddaughter and grandson that live in Missouri that I got to see this summer for the first time in about four years. There are things I could do more at a younger age than I can now at this age. But God has a reason for everything and a purpose for everything! I really do believe this 100%!
    I now have a back injury and haven’t been able to work for almost three years and have been able to have more time with my baby girl than I did with my other two and I can see a difference in her that wasn’t there with the other two. I know that God has his plans and we all wish we knew what would unfold in the end but that is for him to know and us hopefully live to see what our children turn out to be and our grandchildren. I love reading your blog! Love ya! Anita

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