As I write this post, my eighteen month old is searching for “stuff” to get into as he repeats the words, “Mama, Mama, Mama.” Somewhere on the campus of Valdosta State University, my oldest, Anya, and her dad are taking a tour of my alma mater. I opted out this time as not to detract from Anya’s day. It still seems like yesterday that she was eighteen months old herself, and my mama and daddy were keeping her entertained around the track of VSU’s gym while I graduated on the court. That was 2002, and for me, it seems like yesterday that I finished my undergraduate degree and began my master’s. In reality, flashforward to 2018, and I have been an educated adult for more than sixteen years.
Just as Anya rides a bus around campus, looking at the front of West Hall where I spent so many days and nights as a young woman, I am putting Liam down for his afternoon nap inside our camper that poses as a mother-in-law suite, daycare, and writing nook. Bailey and Sophia swim with Aunt DeeAnn and cousin Grady, and I reminiscence about my past. I remember how hard life was during my college years; obstacles and conflicts were so much more difficult than my course load, even when I was a double major (both English and Biology). My own twenty something mind seemed determined to ruin my success.
I learned to compromise, to leave, or to persevere during those years. I wish I could protect Anya from the hardships of young adulthood even as I look forward to her pursuing her undergraduate degree. Why does life have to be so hard, yet so rewarding at the same time? Once I was twenty-one and pregnant, sitting in French history class trying not to regurgitate my breakfast. Now, I am forty and writing a blog entry five minutes after Liam regurgitates his lunch on my new dress. Certainly, I am not middle aged.
ASIDE: Definitely and defiantly, the other Generation Xers and myself will defy aging. Hell, the annals of history can redefine middle age just for us!! Do it now before the Millenials turn forty.
It was just this morning that powder, lipstick, and a little mascara was enough to refresh my look. As long as my grey hair is colored, Sophia swears I can pass for my late thirties. HA…little does she know that I am timeless inside and out. “BLESS it, honey.” I hear my internal critic say to my real self. Denial is not my friend, but neither is time. My motherhood journey will still be going strong as I experience the empty nest syndrome. One section of the nest will be empty while the other three quarters will be full of teenagers and a crying baby. The compromise of motherhood continues just as much as the free radicals attack my cell nuclei. God bless the mothers of this world. God bless us all. Good luck to every high school senior–you’re going to need it.