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.”