Tuesday, June 12, 2012

inside out

What's with this aging thing?
Inside, I feel like I'm still in my 20's or 30's, or even still a child.
I can still tap that kid who rode a bike to the dime store,
built a fort in the woods with my brother, or a snow tunnel in winter.
I can still feel the hot summer sun on my back while playing Monopoly
on a blanket in the yard with my best friend.
And didn't I just spend two glorious weeks at Girl Scout camp,
jumping into an icy Connecticut lake after breakfast
and - my favorite - doing crafts in the craft house?
I spent a year saving $25, half the cost of two weeks at camp.
My parents' rule was, I paid half, they paid half.

Off to camp, with little sister Anne
My college, newlywed, and young mother years are equally vivid.
Five years as "just us" before children.
The wonder of four babies' births and
the intense, stressful, but crazy fun of raising them for 25 years. 

But then someone says or does something that makes me realize those days are far behind me.
I work with a special little girl and sometimes accompany her and her mom to doctor's appointments. The doctor usually assumes I'm the grandmother, and I realize that I easily could be.
More and more, people hold the door for me at stores and treat me just a bit more, well,
as they would their grandma.

My 22-year-old daughter and I spread mulch the other day. She was way quicker than me.
And of course, my boys have been stronger than me for years. (But not smarter, I tell them.)
The kids are naturally more tech-savvy than me and have taught me most of what I know.
It's amazing to learn from them.

But then, our years, no, decades of living have taught us much about - living!
 For instance, being with my granddaughters stirs up all sorts of memories of what works with little ones. How to hold them, play with them, and soothe them.
Then there's meal planning and cooking without recipes, all second nature to me now.
And maybe most importantly, the years have taught me it's sometimes better to hold my tongue than to give an opinion. (Still learning that one.)
And how to read the face of a hurting friend.
And that I'm probably not going to accomplish anything overly amazing in this life.
And be ok with it.

So. Inside I could be ten or twenty. But outside I'm not.
It's a funny condundrum.


klrodman said...

I'm right there with you, Girl!! Thanks for saying it so well. :)

Diana said...

You are wrong about one thing..you've done amazing things with a family...a marriage....and you are an amazing woman. The important things we do hardly ever win us trophies....but they make us amazing women non the less.

Barb said...

Thank you Diana. I was thinking by the world's standards - not a good place to be!