Have Your Cake and EAT IT TOO

greatgrandmother, birthday, aging

My mom shows her great-grandson how to eat cake.

The subject of aging seems to fascinate my daughter and son and their spouses. Most particularly,

birthdays, grandsons, family

A bd cake, no matter how you slice it.

my aging. And my guy’s.

I haven’t figured out why. Perhaps it’s because of my upcoming birthday on the Ides of March.

They seem to expect some kind of terror in our response to their teasing, asking if we have “chair rails” on our new stairs – ha ha, and telling us that perhaps my guy is eligible to use the town’s “senior center.”

birthday song

A Singing BD Cake Delivery

Never mind that both of us are crazy busy in our careers and our social life. Continue reading

A Luscious Shade of Young

the old gray mare, hair color“I luuuv your hair,” my daughter’s friend says to me. “You’re so lucky to have so much of it. And the color and natural highlights! Just luscious.”

Luscious? First of all, who calls an over-50-year-old’s hair, luscious? Only another woman, of course, and at 30-something, a rather naïve woman.

(I note, by the way, that her hair is teenage blonde, straight and long, pulled into a perky ponytail as she shuttles her kids form soccer to ballet to gymnastics.)blonde and perky, blonde ponytail

But I digress. Continue reading

Looking in the Mirror

girl in a mirror

Frederick Carl Frieseke,
Femme qui se Mire

Early in the morning, and she’s already been up for half an hour, writing. Her eyes show it: glazed light blue icing, or are they dazed? Slightly bloodshot, with puffy fleshy bags underneath her lower lids.

She remembers when the bags underneath her eyes, rare and only after long bouts of studying or handling petulant babies, were smooth. But now, lines are etched at the bottom of the puffiness. They won’t be as visible after she washes her face with cold water and walks briskly in the fall air, but still, they’re always there now. Continue reading

BACK TO SQUARE ONE

birthday, aging, baby

Baby Pam

Today’s my birthday. A big one. I’m not big on birthdays. They make me think too much. Let’s go back and observe…

looking out window, thinking, agingI’m 6 years old. I look out my bedroom window for answers. Who am I? What the heck am I doing here? Where’d I come from?

The clouds and the sky and the next-door neighbor’s dog, barking at their front door, give me no answers.

Who am I?

Now I’m 13. I look out with the same questions, same bedroom window. I concentrate on the trees with deep intensity. The leaves turn florescent blue, the tree bark purple, the sky pink and sparkly. The answer is there – I can almost see it, feel it. My arm extends, hand reaching, reaching, but comes back empty.

The world at my fingertips.

At 19, I stare out that bedroom window, anxious to say goodbye to my parents’ view of life. I understand everything now. I’ve read Joyce and Woolf, Kierkegaard and Bonheoffer, Freud and Erickson.

I know all the answers…. Don’t I?

2nd baby, no time for questions

2nd baby, no time for questions

At 33 I don’t care who I am, where I came from, or what I’m doing. I’m too busy making babies, nursing babies, loving babies, and caring for my family. I’m too tired to ask any questions, much less search for answers.

aging, questions of life

Where'd the time go?

I look out the window now at 48 and wonder where my babies have gone.  Off to college and their own quests.

The quiet is unnerving. What should do I do now? The swaying trees are whispering, whispering, but I can’t hear what they’re saying.

baby, aging, grandchildren

Grandbaby 5, born March 1, 2012

And here, now, I’ve arrived to this new number on the aging chart. I dare stare out another window at hummingbirds whirring, flowers swaying, the sun winking, as I wonder:  Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?

BACK TO SQUARE ONE

A Face in Time

A pool of thought

stares back at the past in the

shining shimmer of glass.

A mirror of moments reflects that

time exists – physical time –

etching crow’s feet, wrinkles in time.

 

This face is nothing like the one

from 30 years ago – it’s wise now,

sad yet beautifully joyful, delivering

a message of hope – time

wears away the pretty, but adds

the love –

so

much

love.