Thursday, October 15, 2009

When Did I Grow Up?

I hardly know where to begin tonight, so much has flitted through my mind lately. This is flu season, and I've done my share, thank you. I've already had it. At first, we thought it was a chest cold, but in mere hours, I felt worse. I started feeling bad at supper one night, but by bedtime I felt horrible. Shandon had already had this, so I knew what was coming, I thought. I got it worse. Yay, me. Anyway, I ended up taking two days off work, sleeping and feverish. It took two weeks to get over the bug and get my energy back. This was only one reminder that I am no longer young.
Lately, I've also noticed quite a few more grey hairs upstairs. No more the scattered few over my ears, now I have a prolific bunch on top as well. And as much as I know I could dye them, I really don't want to. I feel as though they are a badge almost. Not of honor, but a sign that I'm an adult now, you know? I don't suppose you'll understand unless you're over the age of 40 yourself.
This has been a cool, wet fall that fairly raced into winter-like weather, complete with hail yesterday and snow for my parents! My knees object to it, they don't like winter, they don't like cold. I have very opinionated knees.
Yet another sign I am no longer young.
The most alarming sign yet though was a very long conversation with my mother the other night.
We got to exchanging news. She told me the favorite house I lived in up there (on my own) burned to the ground. She told me most of the town is working again, and she brought me up to date on the new store and her knitting projects. And then she off-handedly mentioned she was two years aways from retirement.
"Wait, back that up?" I said, hardly believing what my brain had told me it heard.
"Kid, I'm 63 now, remember? I have white hair. You're 40. You didn't expect me to stay 36 forever, did you?"
I was speechless.
For years, when people asked how old my mother was, I told them she was 36. Not out of stupidity or a desire to keep her young, just for me, she stopped aging at 36. One day, I assumed she must be close to 45, so that became her magic number. Then 50.
And now I am forced to admit that my mother is 63.

This opened a whole new can of kickass.
Now I am forced to admit that time is screaming ahead, never mind crawling. I am forced to admit that my parents are aging, and I am more ill-prepared to help them financially then ever before. I always thought I was going to send them a little something every pay, but now I can barely make ends meet here in my own little world.Thoughts of my parents mortality flit through my mind before I can chase them away, and I can't help but wonder how they are really doing when they aren't on the phone for an hour with me.
And I wonder when this all happened.
When did I grow up and get old?

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