Having babies later in life is a blessing, of sorts. I would have been a terrible young mother. Truth be told, when I was young I was self-absorbed, putting myself through college, waiting tables and partying my, very much smaller then, tail off. No time for babies, or true commitment of any kind really. I basked in freedom, sun, big hair, and alcohol and savored every moment. I wasn’t responsible for anyone but me and there were certainly times I was irresponsible at that.
So many people look at me now and say “I don’t know how you do it at this age.” I don’t know how anyone does it in their 20’s! I guess it’s all in your perspective. I can’t even remember most of my 20’s so I must have had a great time then but I know that now is even better. I now delight in sloppy kisses, bedtime stories, youth sports, and dates nights, when we can escape our children. Life is really good.
I don’t feel any different than any other mom chasing around a toddler but occasionally I get a reminder. Like recently when I was at a building supply store with my youngest.
Gentleman Shopper: “He sure does have blonde hair!”
Me: “Yes, he does indeed.”
Gentleman Shopper: “I was blonde like that when I was a kid.”
Me: “Yeah, me too.” Thinking this is all nice chit chat, and then it came…
Gentleman Shopper: “Are either of his parents blonde like that?”
Me (with a wry smile): “I am his mom. I grew him for nine months then birthed him. Me. The blonde woman standing in front of you.”
Man Shopper: “Wow!!!”
Me: “You’re not helping yourself.”
Man Shopper: “I mean, wow, what a blessing.” (Trying to get his foot out of his mouth).
Me: “Move along sir. Move along.”
It happens with some frequency so I’m used to it now. There’s a woman at the grocery store who has said, on three different occasions, “Are you having a good time with Grandma?” I’ve stopped correcting her, and going in her line. I never know when my sharp tongue may get away from me.
I am clearly older. I mean I’m not one of those women who is 52 who looks to be 32. I look 52 and I’m fine with that.
Some people crack me up in their efforts to make sure they aren’t saying the wrong thing. Like the ones who do not assume I’m the grandma and once they figure out I’m the mommy they ask, “Is this your first child?” As if I’m planning on popping out five more after this one if he is indeed my first. I like those people. They make me laugh, in a goodhearted way.
The lesson here is to never assume the role of the person with a baby. I would bet there are some young moms, and some moms who just look very young, who are asked if the baby with them is a sibling. Moms (and dads) come in all sizes, shapes, and ages. Just smile at the cute baby and be on your way.