Saturday, July 16, 2005

I Wouldn't Change A Thing

I had a surreal moment the other day. A moment when the knowledge of my own middle-agedness hit me smack in the middle of my forehead. It wasn't a pleasant moment, truth be told. I swim at the university student rec center twice a week, and on this particular morning, as I was approaching the building, I became aware that the building was the staging point for new, incoming freshman and many of their parents to register for "introDUCKtion" - an orientation to the university (UO is home of the Ducks, in case you didn't know...). So there were millions (ok, not literally, but it seemed like it at the time) nervous and excited teenagers milling about, some glad their parent is there, some acting like they don't know the adult they're with, or wish they didn't. Some swaggering, some shy, some wide-eyed, some trying to give off an air of sophistication. I can tell that most of the girls picked out their outfits with extreme care that morning. You know, you want to have the right look when you're checking out your college - you never know who you're going to meet. They're showing up in very uncomfortable-looking, but stylish, shoes and I have to shake my head at the vanity. Don't they know it's a big campus and they're going to be doing a lot of walking?? And then I notice the footwear of the parent - much more practical. They've been here before. Anyway, this tableau puts a small, knowing smile on my face. I understand the rush and mix of emotions these people are feeling. And then it hits me like a Mack truck: I'm relating to the parents, not the kids. I'm projecting ahead to when I'm the one escorting Nicholas or Lauren to a university and getting them oriented. Holy crap on a stick - when did *I* become old?? A quick review of the math tells me all I need to know to answer my own question: I graduated high school in 1988. I was going through my own introDUCKtion 17 years ago. 17 YEARS AGO. Has it really been that long? It doesn't feel like that long ago. So then I wryly admit that I'm relating to the parents more than the new students because I have more in common with them. I'M a parent, for starters. I'm probably closer in age to the parents than to the students. It's a shift I wasn't prepared to face so early in the morning. I mean, I'm still young! I'm still vital! My kids are still babies! I feel like the same person I did at 20! But you know what? Those parents were probably thinking the same thing themselves. So I was a little down for awhile, soaking up my middle-agedness.

Then I get invited to go to a late movie last night, and while we normally don't pay full fare for a movie (waayyy too expensive! Wait for the cheap theater to show one or, even better, wait for it to come out on DVD!), nor do we really get to see many movies in a theater (babysitters cost money, too, so it seems much too extravagant for a silly movie when it will be in the rental store in a few months anyway). But I threw caution to the wind - not wanting to feel more middle-aged than I did already (I was going with a bunch of younger law students - how bad could I be if THEY wanted to hang with me?), and saw "The Wedding Crashers". Totally freakin' hilarious - two thumbs up. WAY up.

I got home late but had to get up early with the kids. Mr. Chick got up, too. And then he sent me back to bed for more sleep. I took him up on it. An hour and a half later he's waking me up with a tray in his hand. He made breakfast (eggs, sausage, coffee) and is serving it to me in bed. Oh how I love this man! And then it hits me: yes, I may be middle-aged officially. I may have more in common with parents of college kids than the kids themselves. But I wouldn't change a thing. I have a wonderful man I call my husband, 2 healthy kids, and an easy life, all in all, that makes me happy. Why would I want to return to the world as I knew it as an 18 year old college freshman with no clue?? The bottom line is that I wouldn't. I cherish the knowledge I have now and wouldn't go back for all the tea in China. Middle age ain't so bad after all. Who knew?

Loved this entry MP! I feel same way. I will be 30 in Jan, its hard to believe I'm no longer in my early 20's but bdays dont bother me. Its better than the alternative :) Life is a blessing, with ups and downs.

Kevin and I had a date last night, dinner and a show. I was so glad I saw your review of the new Vince Vaughn movie, we almost saw "Dark Water" instead. So glad we saw "WC" because of your recommendation. SOOOOOOO FREAKING funny. The table hand job scene and the "homo" bed scene killed me.

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