Friday, January 20, 2006

Playing Catch-Up


I wonder if my two personalities will ever reconcile.

For the last decade I've been on the fringes, failing to feel comfortable with one group, bored with the other.

I was twenty when my son was born. Still a few months shy of being able to legally purchase alcohol and with my husband away for Air Force training, I battled things like sore nipples and sleepless nights while my friends and contemporaries went to frat parties and clubs. I really didn't mind it so much back then, I didn't mind being the grown up in the group. I was the responsible one, I was married for heaven sakes!

Yeah, I know, live and learn!

Since then, as my son has gotten older and I finally managed to reverse course and finish my education and start working in my career things seemed to level out. I could sleep in on Saturday mornings because The Brain does too. I could go out occasionally during the week after he fell asleep because I could be sure that he wouldn't wake up, and even if he did, grandma would be there to deal with it. It was nice for a while feeling like I was back on level footing with others my age, and if I was the only one with a school age child, well, that was alright anyway.

Now things have shifted again. You see, many of my friends are now settling down and starting families of their own. They are now where I was a decade ago, dealing with things that I've long since forgotten about. Bridesmaids dresses. Engagement parties. Baby showers. Potty training.

I went out last night with a couple of my girlfriends to a restaurant/bar and just kicked back and enjoyed some girl time. They are both professional, single women that will probably be married with kids within two years. Both are in long term committed relationships, both are nearing thirty, both are finally tuning into their biological clocks and taking notice of the fact that they're getting older. As I sat there last night, enjoying the company and listening to the band I realized that it had been forever since I had gotten out and just had fun. I also realized that I could give a tinker's damn about biological clocks and whether their significant others are going to propose now or later. I did enjoy listening to them compare notes on the things that their children would never be allowed to do. I'm not sure I was completely able to hide my smile.

It's happening again, that shift in paths. I'm to be ready to have a social life again, something that I can do now that The Brain will be turning 10 soon. Unfortunately, it seems to have happened at the same time that my contemporaries are settling down and getting pregnant.

I have a smart, funny child that I actually enjoy doing things with. He's a great kid but he's also a great friend, and I'm proud that he's turning out as well as he is. I don't regret a minute of the choices that I've made, but I do wonder if I'm ever truly going to catch up. I wonder if there will ever come a time where I'm in the same place as others my age. I wonder if my two personalities will ever reconcile.

(And by the way, I have no idea whose picture this is.. it isn't me. Someone emailed it to me a long time ago). I've always liked it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Holly said...

I love that picture too, I remember when I first saw it wondering if it was real or not. Still not sure, but I love it.

I know exactly what you mean, except that I am in the opposite position as you. I started my family at 33 and now have a 4 and 2 year old at 37. I have friends whose kids are 10, 11, etc. They were doing what I am doing, back when I was new in my career, and travelling the world.

My sister-in-law just had her first baby a year ago so she IS in a similar situation as me - but she is just barely 24 and therefore doesn't have the same life experiences pre-kids as me.

So, for me as well, it can also be difficult to pin down exactly were I fit in. Great post.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Andria said...

Thank you!

11:11 PM  

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