When I told my friends that I was pregnant, the supportive chums (whose kids were all in college) chorused, “It’ll keep you young.” My son Ethan is now eight years old, and at 50-something, I’ve ice-skated, driven go-carts and watched more 3-D movies in recent years than I had in the previous 15. It’s safe to say that I would never have taken that harrowing spin around the go-cart track last fall — not once but twice — except at the urging of my son: “Go mom, go!”
The fun factor has increased exponentially since Ethan’s arrival on the planet — and that’s from a woman for whom fun was never just a three-letter word. That said, I know my limits and have pushed myself to stay fit, enrolling in exercise and strength training classes so that my body works for me and not against me as Ethan grows up.
But as an older mom of a clever and articulate 8-year-old, I have found that I often talk to my son as though he is a lot older than his years, as though he is a 16-year-old masquerading as a second grader. After a particular row about cleaning up his toys, I expect him to behave like a teenager – and a responsible, mature one at that. I want him to be more responsive, to listen more, to do what I ask without an argument. And when he doesn’t, that’s when I feel my age acutely. I’m not patient enough? I don’t like being challenged by an 8-year-old? I’m not used to having my request ignored so blithely?
I have been known to say to my friends with the 20-something kids, “Whatever happened to, ‘Because I said so?’” Read more…