I have a confession…
I never wanted to be one of those women and I never thought it would happen to me. I actually despised those women and secretly (maybe not so secretly) made fun of them. Who did they think they were?
But, things and feeling change, people change. You change too. You get married, have children and become wrapped up in doing things for others and not for yourself, and that trend turns into a lifestyle, trickling over to other aspects of your life. Ugh.
The years start to go by faster and faster, you feel like you’re running out of time. Then the societal reminders start coming at you at an even faster rate. And technology makes it even easier. You know it’s not right, but you let go of the reins, no matter what your intuition is telling you. What is happening to me?
I have really fought this for years, but I couldn’t any longer…
I bought a Christmas present before Thanksgiving!
Okay, I bought a lot of present already! Why?
Deep down in my soul I know this is wrong, I don’t even shop on Black Friday. But, I did it, and now I have conflicting feelings of guilt and satisfaction. All the gifts are still tucked in their shipping boxes stored on the highest shelf in the closet, but I check on them like a sleeping baby, just waiting for them to awaken. I can’t wait!
Oh, one more thing. Does this count as decorating? I picked up a rosemary bush shaped like a Christmas tree and put red star lights on it. Oh, please help me!
Now that the party, presents and celebratory eating out is over, reality is setting in — I am the mother of a six year-old. Whaaat?!
Getting used to saying I was someone’s mom in the first place was surreal to me. I was a first time mom at thirty-six and up to that point I was just “me.” For years there was no other title I held which connected me to anyone else other than myself.
I am convinced the reason we keep track of babies ages in months is so parents can slowly get used to being a parent, month by month. Once I was familiar with responding to being “Azul’s mom,” it was easy, I was his and he was mine, and like most parents, I wore my title with pride. I had no problem admitting I was a mom, not to mention I had an infant on my teat most of the day, so that kind of gave it away.
The transition from being a parent of an infant to toddler is an easy one, saying “my one year-old” is just as easy as saying “my two year-old” or “my three year-old.” Then there is four. This is the point where you realize that your baby is a little person and a personality starts to show (or rears its ugly head). Personality warps into budding independence and all of a sudden you have a “five year-old.” Looking back, this all seems to happen in the blink of an eye, but the fact remains, your connection to your child is still there, they are still just little guys who need you and you need them.
Your parenting grows with your child and both of you are still experiencing something new together. When you are five years into parenting, that’s exactly what it is, five years, a parent of a five year-old, and you think, “not bad, I’ve done this for five years,” with some sense of accomplishment. I’m not sure if it is the number or age or both, but at six something changes. Your baby is going to Kindergarten and is SIX! And the real kicker, not only is your child now six years old, you are six years older too. Ugh!
Azul is six and in school all day and I am forty-two! What happened? Is this what a mid-life or mid-parenting crisis feels like? Where did the time go?
I am sure there are more mid-parenting (although “mid” is deceiving) crises to come, but right now all I can do is let it sink in…I am the mother of a six year-old.
I am going to start this by saying something I thought I would never say, “the other day when I was running,” now the rest happens to me all the time, “I needed to pee.”
The running part is new to me, it is amazing what your body can do when your favorite hobby, smoking, is no longer a part of your life. I am working myself up (and no not in the way that I would need a cigarette after) to running a half marathon. That is about thirteen miles, and I am feeling a little intimidated, but I am ready to do it. I ran a few 5ks and a 10k, so I thought I would step it up and get beyond six miles. The problem is I always need to pee. Usually I deal with this urge by knowing where every public restroom is, and I have no problem peeing on the side of the road during a road or camping trip.
So, about five miles in, sure enough, I needed to go and started to evaluate the situation.
In my favor: I was running in an area called the “Bosque,” meaning woodlands or forest, which in the drought-riddled high desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico is actually ”trees near the river.” And trees are good when you gotta go and it looks like this…
Against me: I didn’t want to get caught with my pants down and it made me think of this local story from last year, where a runner was caught on security cameras crapping in someone’s yard.
Now, in my defense, I was nowhere near that point, but whatever, I still didn’t want to be recorded peeing and later seen on the local news, with or without the blurry bubble covering my face. What if I was recognized with my pants around my ankles? No, thank you!
This led me to think: First, who was actually watching me? I don’t think there are cameras out here, but maybe the City has some secret Bosque watch party going on, I don’t know. Second, there are a lot of animals who live out here and I didn’t want to run into one of them. What actually lives out here? I’ve seen rabbits and squirrels and snakes, random birds, but what else? I wouldn’t want to experience a beaver to beaver encounter while I was relieving myself.
No, I can hold it…I really need to pee!
Then I started to think about the people who live here. There are a lot of stories about the homeless who live in the Bosque and I certainly did not want to urinate in their dwelling.
I’m fine…Oh, who am I kidding I am going to pee my pants!
So I started to scope it out again and look for a good place to stop. I didn’t see anyone, fellow visitors or inhabitants in the area, and thought this is my chance, my moment to take care of things and then continue running in peace. Then I saw him…
A coyote! WTF! I wasn’t even sure at first because it was so skinny, which of course means it’s hungry.
I had a feeling the dependable Bugs Bunny anvil would not be falling from the sky to stop him, so I ran! Not sure if it was my bladder or the wildlife, but I ran eight miles that day. Next time I will probably just pee myself.