I’m an older mom. I mean, I’m not the oldest mom, but I’m up there. I was 24 days away from being 40 when I had my son. I had been single and childless for so long that my mother had given up all hope. My best friends had children and marriages and divorces. I had a cat. I had an apartment that looked like it was straight out of a magazine. A magazine with no toys in it. A magazine where not one thing in my pantry came in a squeezable pouch. This is how I had lived for years. Years. And, then one day, as all stories do, my story changed.
Fast forward 11 years…
While many of my friends are posting about their proud college graduates or precious grand babies, I’m making mac ‘n cheese 14 times a week and having all of the Pokémon conversations and helping with 5th grade math homework. 5th grade was 40 years ago for me and I would like to go on record as saying that I’m pretty sure we just sat around playing with blocks. I don’t remember any of this nonsense. But, here I am. Googling answers and explaining the ’80s to classmates’ moms and buying multivitamins that have the words “silver” or “mature” in the name.
We’re tired. Older moms are tired 92% of the time. Even after babies start sleeping through the night, we’re still tired. They start kindergarten and we’re struggling. They start middle school and we’re exhausted. They start high school and we’re downright narcoleptic. I know younger moms who are tired like this, too. So, I’m not saying that older moms have this market cornered. I’m just saying it’s a tad harder for us to recover from The Tired. Our bodies want us to eat dinner at 4:30pm and watch Family Feud until bedtime at 7:00pm. Our kids and our jobs and our laundry and our dishes and (did I mention) our kids have other ideas.
My years have come with experiences. Before I was a mama, I lived big lives in big cities. I learned big lessons. I made big mistakes. I had big love. Sometimes I find myself looking at my son while he laughs at a TV show or reads a book or draws a picture, and I think “Oh please. Please find your big life, son. Please don’t ever do anything small.” I had so many years of big. And, life is still big. Just a different kind. A better kind. A kind that I can truly appreciate now that I’m of “advanced maternal age.”
Y’all, I can’t with the floor. I consider myself a fairly spry, active mature adult. But, the floor is my nemesis. Will I sit on the floor to play Legos with my son? Yes. Will I be able to get back up without his assistance? Probably not. I do the whole thing where I roll over onto my side, get on all fours, slowly lift myself up, then stand. This takes a solid five minutes. “Mom, is that yoga?” “Yes, son. It’s yoga.” Also, I lie sometimes.
I used to do a lot of adding in my head. When he learns to drive, I’ll be 55. When he graduates from college, I’ll be 60. When he’s in his 30s, I’ll be in my 70s. I would do the math and I’d worry. Lord, I would worry. It all seems overwhelming, those numbers. So, I stopped. I stopped adding. And, I remembered that you never know what the days and years will bring. It’s not my job to add. It’s my job to be his mom, regardless of our ages or the math. Remember, older moms…the only math you should fear is the homework.
I’m not saying I would change one single thing. I’m simply saying it’s a different space I’m holding over here with the carpool line and my hormone patch. There are challenges and victories every day. I love being this mom. This older mom. This tired, secure, self-aware, homework-fearing mom of a certain advanced age and wisdom.
You have a bright precious child that has a Mom that was a bright precious child and I felt like his Mom was raising me more than I was raising her. I prayed that she would do BIG things… and she did to the point where I thought I would pop I was so proud, I know you will get to feel that, and I hope and pray that I live long enough to see that proud look on your face when your son does big things in his adult life. I love you both, Grandma