Thursday, April 26, 2012




As in: I am a woman of a certain...

As in: I am an older parent of older parents. A member of a stretched out sandwich generation. A hoagie, a grinder, a foot-long, as it were.  With boys still in the single-digits (for a few months longer anyway) and a mother fast approaching her 90th birthday (while fading away before my eyes), I think about age a lot.

I ask myself "What was I thinking?" having my kids at 42, when the alarm rings on a school morning at 5:45 and my Peri-menopausal insomnia has kept me up well past two.

But as my sleepy guy gives me a hug after his initial growl, intones "Good morning, Mommy" in his sing-song voice, I remember: this.

I was thinking of this, and what I would miss if I didn't jump at my last good chance. 

I don't do the math anymore.

I used to calculate: When the boys are Bar Mitsvahed at 13? I'll be 55, and my mom will be 93...

High School graduation? Boys 18, me 60, Mom 98.

College graduation: 22, 64, 102.

Their weddings? Well, that's anyone's guess. But, most certainly? Me: OLD. (And Mom? Beyond unlikely.)

You see how it became problematic in so many ways.

Jacob's trajectory is anything but straightforward. The Bar Mitzvah can probably be accomplished at 13. With tutoring and accommodations. But those others? Not even really on my radar, autism the biggest monkey wrench imaginable to be thrown into future plans.

Jake is on his own timetable, biological and mental/emotional ages matching up at some points and diverging wildly at others. He is his own constellation, and the itinerary of that firmament is still so unknown and unknowable. Jake will do things on Jake's time. Enough.

Even Ethan, without autism's schedule-skewering influences may stray from the straightforward march of life. Who knows?

And then there's my mother's age, already stretching towards the horizon.

"Why not 100?" I had asked her, just a short year ago. But I can see how unlikely that is to happen now, how much this year has taken away, diminished her.

And also unspoken here, when I began these calculations, in my sons' infancy?  My father was still living and part of the equation. He made it to their pre-school graduations. To their 7th birthday party. Not beyond.

He would have been 98 at their Bar Mitzvah. Not impossible, as initially calculated. But not to be.

And me? I am charting my own waters here. Nearly 52. A mother, easily old enough to be her children's grandmother. But not.

Looking younger (a mixed blessing, an oft-used excuse for my immaturities). Some days feeling like a kitten; others as old as those proverbial hills. (Especially on ones when my boys want me to play basketball.)

In the last year of his life, when my father could still speak, before the final downward spiral when words sifted out their meanings from him, he shared with me this wondrous thing:

At 92, looking in the morning mirror, he would still find himself, some days, astonished to see an old man looking back at him. Because inside, he said (pointing to his head, his heart) is a young man of 22.

Forever and always.



I am participating in Momalom's 5 for 5 link-up and the prompt for today, Thursday, was “Age.” 


  1. "Some days feeling like a kitten; others as old as those proverbial hills." This describes so well how I feel some days - 2 today, 102 the next! Excellent post - thanks for sharing!

  2. I could not agree more. I have a mother aged 92. I had my last daughter when I was aged 42. She's 18 now and although I'm pushing sixty and she complains to me about my age, I still keep up and life is good. She keeps me young in mind at least.

    The aging takes care of itself. It is inevitable. How wonderful for fou you at 52 to have such young and lively boys.

  3. I've done those calculations. When I found out that I was expecting a girl my first thought was - I'll be making a bat Mitzva at 58 and thankful that I'd get it in before 60. However, I'll be 63 when she graduates high-school - now that is scary. And it's the best motivation to try and keep myself as healthy as possible (ie weight and exercise).

  4. I turn 60 next month. And I don't feel like I did at 22, to be honest. I am an entirely different person in many ways, shaped by my life experience.

    But I look back with fondness on that girl I used to be, in all her innocence and grandiosity...


  5. I had kids relatively late, too, and do the same math...

    ps: Your dad was a looker! Definitely Bogart-like!

  6. I'm with your dad--I still feel 22 even now that I am 40.

  7. This is achingly sweet - bittersweet and sweet - like life. I love it.

  8. As always when you mention your Dad, I cry for mine. I don't feel 22, but nor do I feel 49, I feel kind of ageless, indefinable..

  9. Obviously you have good strong genes. Both your parents lived to their 90's. Chances are good you will too. We can always get hit by a car, of course, but genetically speaking you're doing well. It's quality, not quantity that matters... quantity is a side benefit. I'm also happy to read about your relationship with your dad and see his photos on your site. As I had an unfortunate father I am always moved by stories of loving fathers. Nice post.

  10. It's all about perspective. And making the most of the times we do have. :)

  11. I think about this too. Too much sometimes. I love the way you have shared it here my friend. xo

  12. I fins great consolation in the fact that your dad still felt 22. It think it's one of the things I've read the most in these Age posts: that so many of us do not feel our age. It comforts me, actually.


I am so sorry to have to turn word verification back on, but the spam-bots have found me - yikes!