Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reality Check

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.


1 comment:

  1. You must be very organized and self disciplined. Sadly, I still watch a lot of tv despite having a toddler. After toddler goes to 9! Love those true crime shows!

    I agree I can't watch when she's up. If she doesn't like what's on, she'll walk up to the TV and turn it off. Namely, anything that isn't Dora the Explorer or Nick Jr.

    So the plus side is that I get to be "me" and be current on reading and tv I like, but I'm always exhausted from staying up late to do so. It's a tough choice.

    Totally relate on not feeling young or hip, anymore, too. I am very dowdy now. When I was trying to get pregnant,which was a saga, I quit dying hair, quit caffeine, quit bleaching teeth. Not willing to restart those habits for the ten percent chance we might tt2. No time to exercise. Ugh