Some days, the reality of how old I am hits me.
Well, once I can remember how old I am, it does.
This morning was one of those mornings. Today was a family day. No work. No computers. No cameras. Just me, the Hubs, and the kids. We were headed to the Pacific Science Center.
I remember going there as a kid. I remember some of the same exhibits (Touching the sea life? Oh yes. Loved it.) I remember family days and car games and all the stuff we were going to be doing today.
And as I was getting ready and remembering all these things, I started to feel old. The kind of old that starts with this thinking, Who allows young people like me to be a parent??? Don’t they know I’m not ready for that? Then changes to, Oh wait. I’m not young. I’m in my thirties. I remember my parents being in their thirties.
Am I the only one? The only one that remembers things from their childhood and feels O-L-D when observing said things being repeated in their kids’ lives? The only one that has these moments of panic where I realize I’m not just out of high school? But then begins to do the math and suddenly realizes I’ve been out of high school longer than all the years I was ever in school… including pre-school, but excluding college – or at least some of college.
Then this conversation happens in my head EVERY. SINGLE. TIME: Ok. So I’m 33… No wait… I’m not 33…I’m thirty – …34… No wait… I was born in ’78. It’s 199-… NO WAIT, it’s 20–… what year is it, dangit??? Am I that old?… Calm down, old fogey…It’s 2013… That makes me… 33… no wait… I’m 35… no wait… I’ll be 35 when my birthday comes this year… HOLY CRAP. I’M ALMOST 35… I remember when my parents were 35!”
(Funny thing is, I’ve had that same conversation in my head for a few years now. And I went an entire year believing I was 33, only to discover at my birthday that I, in fact, was turning 33. Which was a great birthday present to myself – to not grow another year older. And now, I still think I’m 33. That would make me 33 for 3 years and running…)
Anyway, this conversation that I have regularly in my head gets me thinking (once I figure out exactly how old I am) about what time I have (or don’t have) left. It usually goes something like this:
So, I’m 34. If I live this long 2 more times, I’ll be 112. Not gonna happen. So my life is more than 1/3 over. If I live this long just one more time, I’ll be 68. That’s likely and doesn’t actually sound too old. So hopefully, my life isn’t yet 1/2 over. Which means, my life is more than 1/3 over, but not quite 1/2 over. 2/5 over? That would mean I’d live to be 85. Maybe. Give or take a few (but not too many.) So I still have 3/5 of my life to live. Not too late to make some changes…
This morning, this thought was interrupted right about then by the sounds of children fighting, reminding me that however long I live, I have a job to do now. Which makes me feel just a little bit younger.
The family day was great. The science center was the most crowded I’ve ever seen, but it was still enjoyable. Look at me! I’m not a grumpy old lady! We stopped for dinner on the way home. At the noisy restaurant, we saw a man about in his 60s working with the hostess at finding the perfect table for himself. He apparently requested a quieter area, to which she replied, “I’m sorry. We don’t have an area designated for quiet dining.” And then she sat him directly behind our booth. A recipe for disaster, if you ask me. (Maybe she planned it that way. Just to annoy him for his snooty request.) And despite Annalise’s bumping the back of the booth (also his back of booth), he never once asked us to quiet down or stop jiggling his seat. So even though the waitress spilled Matt’s coffee and dropped a knife on Jacob and brought Matt the wrong entree (he ate it anyway, also a very “not-old” thing to do), and even though Jacob dropped the ice cream right off his spoon six times – three of those times right onto my lap – I’d consider the dinner a success. And I left feeling sorta young again. And sticky. Young and sticky.
Now home, I was no longer thinking about age but was just enjoying reflecting on the moments of quality family time that filled my heart throughout the day. I overheard Jacob talking to his daddy, who was helping him get his PJs on…
“Daddy, I’m starting to get bigger! Den I’m gonna get big… and big… and Big.. and BIG… and BIG. And den, I’m gonna be bigger den Mommy one day! And den I’m gonna pick her up, and put her to bed, and get her all tuckied in. Wight, Daddy? Wight?”
Which, of course, made me teary, and also reminded me of this book:
And I remember this book making my mom and my Auntie Jill and Trish cry.
Another childhood memory I’m now living out as an adult…
…And so now I feel old again.