Yesterday at court I ran into a good friend of mine, M, from law school. I hadn't seen him since right after graduation, so it was a real surprise. He was like a little brother to me, and when I saw him, the first thing I thought and said was "You're all grown up!" And he was. In law school, because I waited 10 years to go back, I was a lot older than most of my class mates and friends. At that time, though, the distinction didn't seem so great - we were all in the same boat: clueless & scared, I was married but so were some of the others, and there were no kids in the picture. I could actually go out to Wellman's on a weeknight and not worry about getting up with the kids early in the morning!
Anyway, M just got married and recently returned from his honeymoon. He looks young, but matured, and fit. M was present at one of the baby showers held for B, who will be 9 in 4 days! Talk about a reality check. I wasn't young in law school, I was young-ish - fit, energetic and fun - I think I fit in with my peers for the most part. NOW a mere 8 years later, I am old-ish - the mother of two, NOT fit, not a lot of excess energy, with a bad hip. My kids still think I'm fun, but I have no real idea what "fun" is outside of board games, bike rides and Pixar movies.
When you are living your life - day by day making sure that everything that needs getting done gets done - the time passes so quickly you forget what life was like before, who you WERE before. It's a happy and sad feeling, all at once. I love my kids and I love my life, I'm happy making lunches and applying band-aids - I would not trade that part for anything. But I'm afraid that Steve and I got so caught up in being parents that we forgot how to be people - individuals. When other people are talking about the sit-coms they watch, the movies they've seen, the trips they have taken or are going to take, I am thinking about the student council meeting that B missed today because we forgot, the number of times I have actually seen Tangled, whether I have enough snacks for H to take for birthday treat to school... On some level, I can't relate to other people. People that are not consumed by their children.
Before I had kids, I always wondered why people with kids talked about them all the time. They would seek out others with kids and then just trade stories like crazy - to me, it was a little boring. I couldn't relate. Now, I know that it is because stories about kids and what they do is about the only thing that I, personally, can provide to a conversation of adults! I don't watch or play sports. I don't have access to the theater or live music or network TV (thanks to the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon). I hate politics... my topics of conversation are basically nil. I do know about the law and about kids. Talking about the law with non-lawyers is boring for them, so that leaves kids. If the conversation is not about what "Johnny said or did yesterday" I feel I have nothing to contribute. So, when us one-dimensional parents find each other, we latch on for dear life - adult conversation on a subject we can speak knowledgeably about. Bringing to mind one of my favorite lines from a movie ever "That's social....demented and sad, but social."
Yipes! this was not how I intended this entry to go...I have thoroughly depressed myself! Anyway, all of you non-parents out there...when you see me, take pity and ask me about my kids - they are my favorite (and apparently only) topic of conversation.