Friday, July 29, 2011

Time Warps

I have been mulling over some oddities in my life - specifically how I always seem to be in some kind of time warp.

When I was growing up, I was pretty much always the youngest. My sister is 11 years older than I am, and so when I was in first grade she was graduating from High School and heading off to college. Most of my cousins were older as well, and the ones who were closer to my age lived away from us.

So, I spent a lot of time with my parents and their friends. Not that it was necessarily a bad thing, just different. Most of their friends kids were older or grown and gone. So, when we went to their house for my parents to play cards, I had to entertain myself or watch tv. I remember falling asleep on many a strange couch.

My sister got married when I was about 10 or 11. My nephews were born when I was 14 & 15, so the weird time warp thing continued. Now one of them has kids who are older than mine. And, he just turned 40 which was terribly surreal.

 I got married at 18. That somehow cast me into the "old" group despite my young age. Something about being married just makes you old, or feel old when everyone else is still partying and dating and you are keeping house.

Since I was married and pursuing my college degree, it took me 9 years to get my 4 year degree. Lest you think I was not too bright, I spent a semester working and a semester in school. It sometimes took me a semester or two to come up with the money for classes and books.

Since I was in school for an extended period, I quickly became the older "kid" in class. Add to that being married and I felt positively ANCIENT. It makes you feel really old when your class mates are going to parties and ball games and you are going to work.

I did graduate and get a job. I attended my 10 year High School reunion that fall, and most people had been working in their chosen careers for 6 years. Even the doctors were practicing.

Life moved on, and I entered a new phase as a newly single woman. Entering the dating game again at 30 is weird, especially when you left the game at 18. At 18 pretty much everyone you know is single. At 30, pretty much everyone you know is married,

And then the time warp kicks in again. The single men all seemed to be quite a bit older, and have kids. Once again I was the young one. Or, I was the old one with men younger than me asking me out. It was all too strange.

I did end up marrying someone younger than me  - though my philosophy was that I could then raise him the way I wanted to. Lest you think I totally robbed the cradle he is 6 years younger than I am. That gap gets less significant the older we get. And with the disparity in the averages ages of death for men and women, we ought to go about the same time.

Then a new era began, and we decided to start a family. At 35 I figured no problem - women have kids at 35 all the time right? Well, it took until I was 40 for our family to begin. Katie was born when I was 40 years old and 6 months.

 God chose to bless us with Amanda when I was 44. Both girls are the light of our lives, and I would not trade anything for them or when they came along. But, this once moved me to the "older" time warp again.

When I really sit and think about it, and realize that I am old enough to be the mother to most of Amanda's friends mothers and a lot of Katie's it depresses me. I mean, how can you talk about tv shows you love when most of the moms weren't born until after I graduated from high school?

But occasionally I run into another "mature" Mom and we immediately bond and commiserate our plight. I don't FEEL old until conversations turn to popular culture and I have no idea who they are talking about!

I am just hoping I don't enter the young time warp again as the youngest person in the nursing home or something! Maybe I just need to start lying about my age...

My sister Charlotte and I

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