Minivans, Magical Creams and the Mommy 15

I'm having a bit of blogging block.  So I'm posting something I wrote about two years ago, before I started blogging.  Happy Thanksgiving!

I knew I was getting older when, looking back at 2008, I realized my favorite purchases of the year were our seven-passenger Dodge Caravan and a facial cream called “tight, firm and fill.”

Sure, I may just be one birthday past that milestone of middle-age -- you know, the new 20? -- but age isn’t measured only in numbers. Age is calculated by the size of your purse (the largest Land’s End has to offer), the questions you ask yourself in the mirror in the morning (“Am I too old for these UGGs?”) and the items on your most recent Christmas wish list (teeth whitener, gym membership).

It feels as if I overslept Frau Watson’s first period German class and woke up a wife, mother of two, minivan-driver and thirty-something. In these difficult times, people losing their homes and jobs, I know I should be concerned with more important things. Problem is, I just can’t seem to stop asking myself, exactly when did I grow up?

When did I start watching the weather report, reading news magazines or supplementing my diet with flax and fiber to, ahem, help keep me regular?

The other day one of my (younger) friends complained about finding a few gray hairs. I reassured her that I probably had one or two grays, too, but just hadn’t tried hard enough to find them. She looked at me strangely, and then responded, “Yeah, but I’m only 23.”

Oh right, I thought, and I’m not.

I have been encouraged lately though, reconnecting with old high school friends on that brilliant-yet-addicting invention called Facebook. Past pals are now engineers, lawyers, firefighters and teachers, as well as mothers and fathers. Shallow, self-absorbed teenagers, we have all transformed into responsible, productive members of society, raising and influencing the next generation. I guess getting older isn’t all bad.

Maybe aging is a little like my face cream: It burns a bit at first, but what comes next is so much better.

I have a husband who loves me, Mommy 15 and all, and has promised to never stop. One impish look or “I love you, mom” from my three-year-old awakens feelings I never knew existed fifteen years ago. Spit-up stains and sleepless nights are forgiven the second my six-month old grabs his short, stubby little toes.

I admit, on occasion, there are still those times – a conversation with a well-meaning friend or a moment in front of the mirror applying that magical cream – when aging stings. In those instances, it’s nice to know that, as frequent as the reminders are, it’s also just as easy to forget. The other day, driving to the pediatrician’s office, it was as simple as slipping on a pair of oversized sunglasses and turning up the volume on my Damien Marley CD. Suddenly I was no longer driving a minivan on a chilly January day with two sick and crying babies in the back. It was a hot summer afternoon, I was alone, and I was all things hip and cute again.

(By the way, I’ve also heard that reggae is good for relieving stress when it comes time for paying the bills.)

HC Scarano

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