Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Freedom of Youth

Yesterday we had a beautiful day. The weather was nice, and the feeling of no more winter weather felt very good. When I was younger, the beginning of the holiday weekend also energized me. The warm weather, a three day weekend, wearing shorts-I felt so free. Free to do what I wanted. Free to begin new things and simply to venture out and have fun with friends. The world was mine to grab! Things to look forward to doing. I had the freedom to just go and do what I wanted. I truly felt that way yesterday, but quickly remembered that I don't have that life anymore.

I actually have the life I always wanted. The life I had talked about having when I 'grew up.' A wonderful, compassionate husband with a career! A beautiful neighborhood where neighbors talk while working or playing outside. A safe place for my kids. A nice home. Stablitity-never having to move much or not at all. Two beautiful, healthy children.

But now that that world is reality, I feel somewhat stiffled. I can't just leave. I have to have someone to watch the boys. Then I have only a certain amount of time to enjoy my 'parental freedom' if I do find someone. I have the realization that I am no longer in my 20's with the world ahead of me. I have lines on my face from thinking too much, as well as from smiling. I have always thought too much. A long-time boyfriend would play a Billy Joel song,'It's Only Rock and Roll to Me'. One of its lyrics was 'If you try to be a straight-A student, and you are, then you think too much.' I was always too serious. I should have laid back and enjoyed my college days much more. I needed to loosen up. In the end, my grades got me an academic scholarship that enabled me to attend college, so I probably did the right thing, but I still needed to have more fun. Stop worrying about things that I couldn't control. Stop staying in the rut that I was in. But I let those years go by without experiencing life. I just was looking in. I didn't understand that life was going to get so much harder, so I should take advantage of the right now.

I did miss a lot. I regret it now. I had people tell me that I would. That I was 'anal-retentive'. I knew I was, but I didn't know how to have 'fun'. Oh sure I went to a few parties where I drank too much, or chain smoked even though I wasn't a smoker. I even had the time, in my ex's car, where I threw up in the car as well as out of the window onto Lakeshore Drive because I had too much to drink that night. But it lasted not for long, and I then had to get myself back into gear. There wasn't time for much of that. (Not that I like throwing up:)

I have wasted too much time. Now I am the one listening to the 'classic rock channel' on the radio. You know, some G N' R, Black Crows, Rolling Stones, and many more. I do LOVE my music, so I do listen to the hip-hop station, which my nephew and I talk about. But I am still the adult.

When I first became a Facebook user, I noticed a lot of long-ago friends. It didn't take long for me to realize that these people from long-ago had wrinkles too. That we were the age I remembered my mother was at when I got together with those friends. We are now the 'older ones'. No longer the generation who sung along with Kurt Cobain's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.' Not the ones drinking in front of the bonfires in the small town I lived in. No longer the ones who could talk on the phone for hours and still have plenty to say...about ourselves. Not talking about diaper cream, preschools and baseball sign-up.

A week ago I read the book my mother left to my kids before she died. It was a book about Grandparents and their lives. A fill in the questions type of book, so they could learn something about their grandmother they've never been with. I kept hearing her regret over and over about not doing the things that she always wanted to do, but never did. I need to learn from this, and believe that as long as I am on this earth, I need to not give up those fancy-filled days. I need to find a way to fulfill my dreams, so I don't have regret at the end of my life. My mother would be proud, as would I. Now I just need to find a way to do it, and not be scared to death.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finality of Babyhood

As this school year ends, I cannot believe that this coming year I will have a second year preschooler and a first grader. It hurts my heart to even type this. I know that I will have three mornings to myself, and that I always talk about having no time for myself, but somehow that feels lonely. For nearly seven years I have had one or both boys with me. It's going to feel weird being just me. I know I'll probably get used to, but it will take some time.

The real heartache will be when Tot goes to kindergarten and then first grade. I don't know what I will do then. I know I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I'm a worrier by nature.

I am looking for a summertime sitter, which kind of goes against the feelings I've just described. So far I have one candidate that sounds great. She's a fifth grade teacher with a master's degree who wants to earn some exta money in the summer. You know, us teachers don't make a lot of money! She also has babysat for a friend of mine whom I haven't seen in a long time but like. My friend is listed as a reference. I used SitterCity to find some one who will even watch the boys on a Saturday since Hubby and I rarely get out by ourselves anymore. We need to get connected again.

A few Saturdays ago we dropped off our crib and changing table. I thought since it was hard for me to even take down the crib, that I would be fine when we dropped it off. I mean we donated it to a wonderful charity. They were so surprised that they were in good condition. As we took the crib parts out of the car, I remembered the day we picked them out. I always wanted a sleigh crib in the exact color they had. It was perfect! That day was so exciting as was picking out the bedding and decorations for the room. Getting all the baby clothes washed and put away from our shower was so surreal. It took us a long time to get pregnant that it didn't seem like a baby would be sleeping in that crib! And now I had folded up that bedding and handed it to the woman who runs the charity. We rolled in that matching changing table, and gave them the bolts to help them put it back together...for someone else.

I guess all good things come to an end. It is just so surprising to me that I'm not the young mom. I'm the older mom, the experienced mom. And while that feels good sometimes, it also feels final. No more babies, no more cribs, no more sweetsmelling skin. Onto boyhood with all of those boy smells. I guess life goes on no matter how we try to freeze a moment in time. Now I just need to accept this.