One of the joys of aging: The Bladder Alarm Clock.
It has no notion of snooze. There is no option for setting it later on a weekend morning. Half the time it goes off LONG before I need to get up for the day (like by 2-3 hours).
Luckily for me, I had TWO alarm clocks going this morning: The BAC (noted above) and The Joyous Middle of the Night Hormonal Sweats. Oh yeah baby. Waking up soaking wet AND needing to pee. Good times.
Based on all of this physical input, is it any wonder I’m up so damn early on a Saturday? I’d love to say that I’m putting the early hours to good use, but mostly I’m reading emails, found a new blog, and I’m checking out the financial accounts (sheerly out of paranoia). It could be said that these are good uses of my time, but the small children are asleep so why not make even better use of the time by being ASLEEP myself?
If there were justice in this world, which there is often not, I’d be asleep. But I’m not, so let’s move on and assume that this state is now one of a permanent nature for today. What is my list for today? Highlights – a birthday party Brennan is going to attend and I get to meet up for a visit with a friend I haven’t seen in eleven years. ELEVEN years. No talking on the phone. No visits. No letters. Not even really any emails except over this last 2 – 3 months.
I’m really looking forward to this visit because how often do you get to see someone in your 20s, which is a life-time ago, then again at 40… with no intervening connect-the-dots. For all intents and purposes that’s almost like two complete strangers meeting up, except for this strange common history that creates a connection.
The last time I saw her she was single and (I believe) in college, as well as working. She was social and active with her friends, but I couldn’t tell you much more than that as it was during the waning time of our friendship.
Now she’s a mom to a 9 year old daughter and (I think) she’s single and working. I’ll find out more about how she’s doing today, but there are all these gaps between the memory I have of her and the adult woman she is now.
Let’s face it – motherhood is one of the great changers of a woman too. Kids simply will NOT allow you to stay the same. As they get older, you begin to seek out more of who you are, but really, no matter how you try, you never go back to who or what you were prior to them arriving. And this is a good thing. Who wants to be static? Would you want to be who you were back at 23 or 25?
Hell. Would I even want to be who I was at 35?
This is the enjoyable part about aging. Each life time is pieced together, like the cliches mention… a quilt of sorts. Maybe the quilt isn’t beautiful and harmonious. Maybe there’s a square or two or three that you’d like to cut out and replace. Still, it’s your quilt – something you’ve made in your life time. I guarantee there’s no other quilt like it in the world. Yes, mine is a “crazy quilt” but it has some beautiful parts… Todd and I meeting, our wedding, our friendships, our children and each of their births, getting my undergraduate degree, watching my mom graduate from college, my sister playing cello and her artwork and her amazing ability to be so resilient in the face of crazy life, her wedding photo with her husband….
I know there are ugly pieces in there. I’ve talked about some of this before and today I don’t really want to put it out there. Would I cut those pieces out and replace them? I used to think so. I used to think that there were things I would change, events that I wish had never happened – embarrassments, shaming moments, judgment errors, cruelties, and yes, stupidity.
How do you remove those patches without hurting the rest of the quilt? How do you take the sum of who you are at any given moment without acknowledging your failings of the past?
I don’t think you can.
I’m sitting here, on a Saturday morning in 2010 and I can feel a sense of everything I am, stretching all the way back to that day on May 18, 1969, when I was born. Note that I don’t say I can remember, because honestly I have a memory like a beaten sieve right now. But I do feel a sense of it and it feels me up with awe.
My boys are awake now. I’ve got the short guy on my lap, cuddling and playing with his little tractor. My big guy is on dad’s chair, checking out his newest gadget – a light saber, color blue.
This means my mom time is done and it’s time for all the little patches that go together to make a square in this big life quilt… teeth brushing, breakfast, laughter, present wrapping…
Cheers to all on a lovely weekend morning,