This morning one of my teenagers woke me up with a hug, and said, “Thanks for feeding me so I don’t starve, Mom.” Understandably confused by this sudden display of gratitude, I asked him what he wanted, thinking that he wanted money or something. “It’s Valentine’s Day,” he said, “and I’m trying to be nice.”
“Thanks, honey,” I said and went back to sleep for another twenty minutes before my youngest daughter was prodding me out of bed to drive her and her brother to school. I should have taken a picture of the Valentine’s Day getup she had put together. Pink and white gingham taffeta party dress. Raspberry and black argyle tights. Pepto-Bismol pink butterfly shaped glasses. Her hair was gloriously bendy from the eight braids she had slept in last night in preparation for her school party. She was a fantastic mess; her very own girl, and she was thrilled with how she looked.
I have long learned to appreciate this kind of individuality. There are probably younger parents who look at her and think I’m crazy. I’m okay with that. At 44, I’m a much different parent than I was when I was at 34. Or 24. I look at her and I hope that she maintains that strong sense of self, and that she remains confident in liking what she likes.
At breakfast, my youngest son told me that my nose piercing was “weird” because I was pretty much fifty.
Now I’m not sure what being almost fifty has to do with anything, but I’m only 44, and I’m just me, I told him. And I like it. “But what about getting a tattoo?” he said. “Most people get their first tattoo in their twenties!”
“So?” I said. “I think it’s awesome.”
And that was the end of that. He starts junior high next year. He cares what people think. I get it.
It’s horrible outside: gray and rainy, with an icky wind. I’m rethinking my date to the hot springs tonight. Sushi and then a movie or something inside sounds much (much) more appealing. (And sex. I’m really looking forward to having some time for sex! This once a week business is for the birds.)