LatherRinseRepeat--Yeah right

Ramblings of an over-worked, over-tired SAHM

Monday, March 20, 2006

39 and holding........

On Saturday I turned 39 years old. Now, generally, getting older doesn't bother me. I mean age is just a number after all. I sailed peacefully from my tumultuous 20's into my 30's with nary a second thought. Actually, I've found that I like myself much better in my 30's than I did in my 20's. Not that I was a bad person in my 20's [of course ;-)] but it's just that I am more content and confident in myself and my place in the world in my 30's than I was in my 20's. Then there's that whole "reaching your sexual peak in your 30's" thing which was quite surprising and wonderful. All in all, the 30's have been pretty good for me.

Now I find myself on the cusp of 40 and I can't help but wonder what lies ahead. I guess the realization that, given the current life expectancy for women in this country, I am roughly at MIDLIFE has finally hit me. YIKES!!! How did that happen? Didn't I just get my driver's license a few years ago? Wasn't high school last year? Didn't I put A. in his crib as a tiny baby just yesterday? Where did the years go?

The reality is that I got my driver's license more than 22 years ago, high school was over 20 years ago, and A., who at 16 & 1/2 towers over me at around 6 feet tall, hasn't been a tiny baby in a long time. This was brought home to me yesterday as he drove me around the neighborhood in practice for getting HIS driver's license.

Life is so different for me right now than I imagined it would be as I approach 40. Years ago I thought, "OK, when I get to 40 A. will be almost 18 and almost done with high school and once he goes to college, I can go out and enjoy life, travel, etc. because I will be done with raising my child. Ahhhh, freedom." I was this [ ]close. The reality as I approach 40: at least 16 more years of raising children.

What happened to all my grandiose plans of travel and freedom? Where did I go wrong? I guess the truth is that I don't feel like I went wrong so much as I feel life threw me a curve I wasn't expecting. At 34 years old I met and fell in love with a wonderful man who at 38, had never been married and didn't have any children. But wanted them. So here I am, almost 5 years later, with 2 very young children that most likely won't be out of the house until sometime in the 2020's. Freedom? Not so much.

I guess a small part of me worries too. Is this really midlife for me? I hope so. Given that my parents died way too young, I sincerely hope that 39 is only midlife for me. My dad died at age 47, just before I turned 21. My mom died at age 53, exactly a month after I turned 25. WAY TOO YOUNG.

So I worry, what will happen to my little ones if I suddenly drop dead of a heart attack at 53 like my mother did? My little ones would be 17 and 15, much too young to be left motherless. Heck, I still sometimes feel like I need my mother. It was especially hard being pregnant without my mother around when I had my last 2 children, since she had been such a resource and comfort when my oldest was born.

I miss her the most around my birthday. She always made such a big deal about birthdays in general and my birthday in particular. I think it's because my birthday was such a miracle to her. She had a severe case of pre-ec!ampsia when she had my older brother. She had a rough time delivering him and went into convulsions on the delivery table. She also hemorraged and almost died. Her doctor told her not to have any more children because if she did, she would not survive the delivery. SO she was careful (although thankfully I never got the details of what that involved*), but found herself pregnant close to 2 years later. The doctor wanted to schedule her for an abortion. She refused. She said that if she got pregnant despite precautions, then somehow God meant for her to have this baby.

So the day she went into labor, she didn't tell anyone at first. She cleaned her house, did all the laundry, and then packed all her belongings away in boxes. She believed the doctor when he said she wouldn't survive the delivery and didn't want her family to have to go through her things when she was gone. She waited until the last minute to go to the hospital. She got there at 6:45pm and I was born at 7:15pm breech, all 8lbs 4 oz of me. OUCH!!

She said I didn't cry at first and she asked the nurse what she had since in those days the sex was always a surprise. The nurse looked over and said, "It's a girl but she's dead". My mom fainted. When she came to, the doctor asked if she wanted to see her daughter. She said, "why? she's dead." The doctor said, "Oh no she isn't" and put me on her chest for her to see me. My mom always said that was the happiest moment in her life. God, I miss her!!! But I'm grateful for the 25 years I had her in my life and to her for the gift of life. It's kind of ironic that I was the only person that was with both my parents when they died. Maybe mom was right and God meant for her to have me. I'm just glad I was there, even though it was hard, so they weren't alone in their final moments on earth.

I don't know what life has in store for me as I approach the 2nd half of my life, but I look forward to finding out. Will these children that I didn't expect to have this late in life be my comfort in my final hours? Will just having them around keep me younger than I would have felt otherwise or will they be the cause of even MORE gray hair? LOL. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

What about you? How has your life so far been different from what you imagined it to be? What unexpected curves has life thrown you?

*This was in the early days of the pill so I never asked if she was on the pill or what exactly they did for birth control. I mean, who wants to know ANY details of their parents sex life, kwim??


  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger Elmwood said…

    that's an amazing story about your birth-what an unselfish person your mother was. Hopefully things will be better for you all you can do in the meantime is live to the fullest right?
    Happy Birthday!!!!

  • At 4:40 PM, Blogger ccw said…

    There is so much in this post that I don't where to start, so I will just say that I really enjoyed reading this.

    I think you are wondering about things that every person wonders about. We all wonder "what if" and think about the future. Some of the best things in my life have been the unexpected ones.

  • At 6:22 PM, Blogger Erica said…

    I think we should enjoy the time we are given and don't take a moment for granted. I don't think anyone can understand what it is like to lose a parent, we can only be grateful, as you are, for the time we did and do have. XO Hope your birthday was great.


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