Sunday, September 19, 2010
Not wistfulness on my part at all, but I gotta say, I wouldn't want to be anything else, but a happy 56 years old right now. As I scan the internet news each morning, or even look at TV shows, the intense pressure to be young, hip and cool is a crushing load I sure wouldn't wanna face. I couldn't pull it off anyway, even if I were in my 20s, the relief and the comfort one finds in their 50s is priceless.
Such freedom to be and to do what is uncool in the eyes of others. "Mark my words," I'd told those who're chomping at the bit to run the streets, "you'll likely end up gardening too."
They look at me like I'm a nutbird, yet I sure have seen it happen over the years.
I truly thought we were all that last night, again it was Emily, her sister and I, all in our 50s, with a bunch of young bucks, managing to scour our very large section of the stands in hardly 30 minutes, filling massive bags full of empty bottles and cans to be recycled, a give back moment that I rarely participate in anymore, due to all the heavy time demands at home.
"That was quick," I'd crowed proudly to Emily, only to notice another group finishing just as quickly, yet full of grey-hared women in their 70s.
JoJo was astonished at them. "Honey, I'd be grey too if I didn't color my hair," I pointed out to him, the one who thinks I'm young enough to be a bouncer in my own home, the one who depends on me to stop him from hurting his ownself each day as he grapples with his temper and his zero impulse control issues.
"Then why is your hair black underneath?" he'd reasonably asked, as my hair is almost always up in a clip, kinda blonde on top, the dark undersides clearly visible. A chocolate cake with lemon frosting?
"I dunno, vitamins I suppose," I lamely answered, but it's probably true.
We'd picked Tabby up from a birthday party celebration, the adopted daughter of her guidance counselor, the two girls have been in class together since kindergarten, and this evening Tabby'd wanted to go to UGA with us after the party.
Sabrina, Mayra, CW and Martin had already spent most of day working with our new youth pastor at a Habitat for Humanity house, and the fact that they'd willingly dove in to participate in yet another service project, won them Big Mama's Gold Star.
Allen's anxiety being off the charts, he'd chosen to stay home for both events, dithering in circles around me all day long, peppering me with questions he'd never bother to listen to the answers to, as he was off and running with his next nervous blurt.
I'm allowing Sabrina the very rare excuse to miss church today, going with her boyfriend's family to the Atlanta Zoo instead, at 7:30 this morning, our temperatures still baking us all in the low 90s, have fun with that today.
I'd just stepped away from blogging to greet his parents, super nice folks who've been in Georgia for years and years from Mexico, speaking English way better than I do, what with my very Southern grandparents and great grandparents, for many generations back, all true blue Southerners with a propensity, like others in the deep South, for mangling sentence construction and choosing odd phrases with their heavy drawls.
Turning back around to herd the kids to church, dragging feet and acting as a group as if I've surprised them with this routine we've followed every minute they've lived here with us.
"What time do we leave?" I've already been asked 14 times, as if we've ever varied from our 8:45 departure for the nine o'clock service.