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Monday, February 13, 2012

Sparkly and Young

When I look in the mirror I see the me I've always seen, perhaps altered by a few more smile lines than I remember when last I looked, and the debut of crows feet that have stamped their way onto my face when I wasn't paying attention.  But I don't look so different from 23 do I?  Am I in denial?  I know I'm dangerously close to 30, and to me, that IS old. I still am shocked that last summer I attended my 10 year high school reunion.  I am flabbergasted that the girls who are now pledging my sorority were born in 1995.  My baby sisters are done with college, one with her masters, and they're getting married. My parents (who don't look any different to me than they did 10 years ago, except maybe improved)  are grandparents 7x over.  I have 4 kids people. FOUR. Granted, I cheated a little and got a 2-4-1 deal, but still. I'm a grown up, a mother and a wife. I'm an adult. (I have to tell myself that regularly because I sometimes don't believe it.) 

I struggle with this. I love being a mom and wife, but I don't want to act my age sometimes. I don't want to become that lady who drives the minivan and totes her kids all around town, but I fear the transformation is already taking place, even through my desires to stay young. I still want to go out and dance until my legs feel like jelly.  I still want to wear feathered earrings and nylon hot pink skirts (not at the same time). I want to put sparkly eye shadow on and listen to Yellowcard too loudly (same time). 

Some people will read this and just harumph, because they're older than me and they'll be thinking, "I wish I were 29 again."  Others will read it and click their teeth in disappointment because I'm not able to appreciate the here and now. And still the younger ones will read it and be scared that this will someday happen to them. 
I am a forever juxtaposed mind. I can be totally happy and content with what I'm doing and the age I am. The next day I can feel unfulfilled, as if I'm not meeting the full potential God gave me.
Today is the latter kind of day.  I just can't believe the years are slipping by so quickly. It's true what the old people say: Every year speeds up and flies by faster--the older you are, the faster you age.

I told Ryan I'd change his name in my blog to protect his innocence. So his name is now Bryan.

Bryan and I dropped Luke and Juliette off at church Saturday night for a "Parents Night Out" fundraiser. We would've dropped the babies off too, but the church peeps weren't equipped for baby babies, so we took them with.
We went down to Conch Farm for a cold beer and to walk the docks. It was a COLD night for Key West, especially with the sun already sunk and the breeze coming off the water. Bryan ran up to the bar to get us drinks, and as I stood by the double stroller, rocking it with one hand and the other dug deep into my jacket pocket for warmth, I watched people watching me. They walked by and saw me, alone outside of the restaurant, my 5foot frame, my adorable faux leather black little jacket from Ross, my skinny jeans, and my twins. I tried hard to read each mind as they came by. "What is she doing out with those babies in this weather!?" or "Where is the father?" or "TWINS! so glad that's not me..." or "What a hot mom!" or "She's too young to have babies". (I knew no one was really thinking the last two, but I hoped for it.)
But one group of women didn't make me guess. They were tipsy, beautiful women in their late forties, out in Key West to relive some old memories and make some new ones. One of them saw me and came right over, talking too loudly to be sober. She smiled and said seeing me brought back great memories. Her twins are 23 now, and she laughed as she mentioned their age. She asked, "Can you believe it? I don't look that old do I?"
I assured her she looked beautiful, and as her and her girlfriends paused in their revelry to look down at my babies, I knew they were jealous of me, just as at that same moment, I was jealous of them. I told her I look forward to the day I can go out with my girls again, when my little ones don't rely on me for their everything. The twin mom gave me a quick encouraging hug, smiled knowingly, and they all scampered off down the docks.  But even as I watched them leave I knew I didn't speak the entire truth. I DO look forward to my future freedom, but I know the day my babies don't need me anymore I will be devastated. (See what I mean by my juxtaposed mind? I can't pick a perspective and stick to it. The seaweed is always greener.)
Then Bryan returns, my real life knight, with a smile and two drinks, and I'm back to loving every aspect of our crazy lives.  Right then I don't care that I'm in the last year of my twenties. Or that Bryan is and will always be 8 months younger than me (punk). Or that when I smile, my eyes crinkle a bit. Being around him always brings me back to 23.

So I've decided. Today, inside my mind I'm sparkly and young. Tomorrow though, I'll have to start looking for gray hairs. I don't want those to sneak up on me too.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Like I have time for this...

I'm pretty standard, I have no real skills or specialized education that will enhance your life if you follow this blog, and I probably won't be disciplined enough to add posts on a regular basis. But everyone has a blog, and frankly I'm sort of jealous. And like the title reads, I'm just mediocre at everything I do, not especially great anything, but I have to believe at least some part of me is blog-worthy. I'll probably just use this as a way to document my life and the lives of my children, since my memory is so poor I can't tell you what I wore yesterday, let alone the weights, times, lengths, Apgars, etc, that so many mommies can spit out so easily.  I can't remember first words, funny kid-isms, or what you do to soothe a teething baby, although at this point I've had 4.

I used to keep diaries as a kid, and by the time I was in high school I had finished my 4th. So this should be cake--except now I'm 29, I live in a crazy house with a dog, a cat, 10 relatives representing 4 generations, I have a 5 year old son, a 3 year old daughter, and twin sons hitting 5 months next week. I really, really don't have time for a blog. The free time I do have is usually devoted to brushing my teeth or sweeping the dog hair and dirt that has accumulated and collected itself into balls and rolls around the house like tumbleweeds.  In fact my son pointed at one and said, "Look mom! The wild wild west!".  If I have only one baby awake I like to bounce him on my lap and check facebook. I love to look at my "friends" and their pages/posts, learning who is pregnant, who is engaged, who is promoted, who is traveling, who is too vile and crass to really be my friend in real life, whose babies are cuter than mine, etc.  I've recently discovered Pinterest and am just getting my feet wet with that, but it's another time consumer, so I don't get a chance to get on it too much. I also find it to be disappointing. I started pinning stuff to "My Dream Home", and it's just depressing seeing all the beautiful things that I wish were mine. Thou shalt not covet, Danielle.
Even now as I type I have my 3 year old Juliette behind me watching Strawberry Shortcake on Netflix, asking me to get her a "fink and snack". (blending consonants is hard.)  I utter something to her to let her know I've heard her, and continue to type as fast as my stubby fingers will go, knowing the baby monitor is going to start going off like a bomb any second.

I love to read. I like to write. I like to read stuff I've written.  My blog has the potential to entertain me more than it does any of you, and so be it. Let's blog!