Sunday, 21 November 2010

22 years ago

As I sit here in my nice soft easy chair, my memory transports me back to 22 years ago.  It was the night of the Federal election and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was voted in for a second term of office.  Strange that I know that because at the time I really couldn't give a rip.  I was in a sweet little hospital in the village of Elnora giving birth to my "first" baby.  I put that in quotes because technically I was the means to another couple having a baby 7 years before that... but that is a whole other blog topic still to come - stay tuned....  anyways - I digress... Dan and I were pretty excited about this baby.  I had gone through 2 miscarriages leading up to that, so this delivery was a bit of a sigh after a long time of holding our breath.  Shortly before midnight and about 12 good long hours of labour, we were toasting (with orange juice and gingerale - a Dr. Witham tradition) the arrival of Alyssa Julia - weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz - screaming her head off.

Unfortunately this screaming continued for a while, as she decided that life on the outside was not really what she expected.  I can't remember ever being diagnosed with post partum depression - I don't think it had been invented yet, but I do remember that I was pretty miserable.  I felt like she hated me.  I would spend my days trying to make her happy, only to be repaid with incessant wails.  Then, my mom, sister, and even Dan, would come and pick her up and she would stop.  I could picture this kind of relationship lasting through out our lives.  This little girl that I wanted so badly would never like me.  Thankfully, this did change and those first few months of colic turned into a distant memory.

Today she turns 22.  She is all grown up.  She has a husband and a mortgage and a life that is independent of me and that is good.  I think we did an okay job as parents.  Not saying that I didn't make a lot of mistakes - like sending her to school with a big ol' batch of chicken pox cause she wanted to stay home because she said she had pimples.  I yelled too much, didn't always listen, often was too busy, said I love you too little...but the funny thing is that she likes me.  All those fears that I had in those first few days when I was doing everything right as a mother - they are gone.  And despite doing so many things wrong as a mother later in her life...she likes me.

I see the relationship that Lys and I have today and I really wish I would have had that with my mom.  Don't get me wrong, I love my mom dearly, but I don't think I would consider her my friend or someone that I confided things too.  I'm not sure why.  I think it was because I chose not to, so I can't hold her responsible.  That makes me sad.  People say that it's not good to be friends with your kids.  Don't listen to them.

Happy birthday my sweet Alyssa.  I love you!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Time warp

Yesterday I helped celebrate or mourn the demise of a dear friend's youth.  Yes, she turned 50.  Another one bites the dust and with that looms that day in the not too distant future when I, too, shall cross over.  I grew up seeing people turn 50 and they were stinkin' old!  Can that really be me?  Soon, I will be able to collect the senior's discount at many stores.  I will be able to get Grey Power insurance, and those life insurance ads - the ones were you don't need a medical - yup, available to me.  It makes my head spin.   Wasn't it just yesterday that I had Donny Osmond posters in my Pepto Bismol pink bedroom?  ...that I was learning to drive a stick shift? ...that I was sneaking out my window to meet up with that rapscallion boyfriend?  I'm pretty sure it was.  What the heck happened?  I feel like I have gone through a time warp and I am seeing myself in the future like some lame Star Trek movie.

It's funny, because I really don't feel almost 50 (however that is supposed to feel).  I have fooled myself into thinking that I don't look 50 - although I keep wondering whose neck that is attached to my head...shudder....I certainly don't act almost 50.  My past job entailed spending a lot of time with teenage girls and they have a funny way of rubbing off on you.  I have a daughter that has made it her mission in life to make sure that I don't dress 50... for which I am thankful.

So this leads me to believe that I can't really be almost 50...or...this is the new and improved 50.  The 50 that feels comfortable in her own skin - but sensible enough to stay away from mini skirts and Go-Go boots...  the 50 that feels more passionately about her husband than ever- even with all the years and extra flubber (mine - not his) after 25 years of only being in each other's arms...  the 50 that isn't afraid to do things that might just break a hip... the 50 that has learned how to love with grace because she has been given plenty of that in her 50 years.  Yea, I guess this 50 looks pretty dang good.

Bring it on!

(But I really need to stop using words like "rapscallion"... dead give-away...)