Lately, I've become acutely aware of how fast time is going by. In the last year, my father turned 75, I celebrated (and I use that word loosely) my 25th high school reunion and sent my oldest child to high school. Dan and I were talking the other night about how fast Emily's childhood has gone by for us. She'll be FIFTEEN this summer, she has a job lined up, she'll be taking driver's ed in the next year. And to us, she's still that three-year-old with the vocabulary of an adult and the attitude to match who used to love to watch for purple cars on our street. Luckily, Jake, who will be 12 in October, is bringing up the rear in fine fashion and we don't feel like the time with him is marching by quite so quickly. It helps that we held him out of school an extra year and will have him with us until he's almost 19. Our kids represent the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare.
The passing of many of the critical adults in my life hasn't helped to ease this mid-life crisis. My mother, my in-laws, two aunts, an uncle, the parents of close friends, and not for nothing, my two beloved dogs. All of that in the last six years. We like to refer to the last decade as the shitstorm of misery.
I remember almost 12 years ago when I hired my coworker Jenn right out of college and discovered she was ten years younger than me. When had that happened? Now the new "kids" in my office are 22 years younger than me, which is all the more shocking. Last week, when I was in Washington, I spent some time getting to know my boss's new assistant, a nice "kid" named Louise, whose father is a longtime member of our association. I liked Louise right out of the gate because she makes me laugh with her witty retorts. In the course of our conversation, I realized she is only going to be 25 this year. Cripes, I said, I've been out of high school 26 years this year. You know what that means? To which she replied in her typical witty fashion, Hello, Mommy. ACK! She's a brat, but that's another story. She calls me Mom now, which is kind of funny—and not funny at the same time.
HOW did this happen? WHEN did this happen? WHERE WAS I when this was happening? I'm staring down the double 4s this spring and I don't feel 44. Well, somedays I do, but for the most part I feel maybe 30. Then my taller-than-me daughter prances through the house at almost 15, a shocking reminder that I'm not 30 anymore. Hell, I'm not even 40 anymore. I'm in my *gasp* MID-FORTIES. ACK! (Are you sensing my theme word today?)
So what makes me feel better about all this getting older business? Well, Dan did me a huge favor by turning 49 last weekend, which reminded me that it could be worse. Much, much worse. :-)