So, I have to admit that I am not the same woman I was in my twenties. When I was in my twenties, I remember looking at the older adults and thinking, “I’m not going to be like them. I’m always going to be hip, stylish and fun!” Well, I was wrong. The other day, I shockingly realized that I am one of them. In fact, I could be there fearless leader. When did I grow up and how could I have been such a silly and naïve twenty-something?
Do you remember those reality make over shows? I felt bad for the women who when on those makeover shows. I mean, really. How embarrassing! Her friends and family think her personal style and upkeep is in need of such dire help that they call a reality TV show. And then the show “surprises” her by telling her on national TV how bad her problem is. Of course the payoff is the make over and shopping spree. When I was younger, I always felt sorry for that poor woman. But now, 12 years, one husband, two kids and a career later, I am hoping someone calls one of those shows for me. It would be so nice for someone to tell me what to buy and then give me the money to buy it. I remember when I loved to go shopping. I loved trying on clothes. I loved finding a good deal and wearing the latest styles. Now, all I want to do is get in, and get out with something that fits and is as cheap as possible. And if it takes me longer than 10 minutes, I am instantly irritated. How did this happen? When did I morph into the lady I always felt sorry for?
My taste in TV has also changed. I used to watch network TV, religiously. I was always hooked to the most popular TV show and could carry on a decent conversation about TV around the water cooler. Now, in a rare moment when I actually watch TV, I enjoy Swamp People, Duck Dynasty, and anything on the History channel. I haven’t a clue what they show on ABC or CBS. Oh, and movies? Forget it. Somehow, my attention span has been drastically reduced. There is rarely a movie that I can sit through without going stir crazy or falling asleep. I sometimes wonder if an adult can develop ADD.
So what has changed over the past 12 years? Well, I think I can easily blame this on my kids. Yep, it is definitely their fault. It has been 12 years since I have been in a dressing room all by myself or even to the bathroom by myself. It has been 12 years since I have been able to watch anything on TV without interruptions. It has been 12 years since I have been able to walk leisurely through a department store or a mall. It’s been 12 years since my husband and I have really, truly slept a good, solid, peaceful 8 hours in a row. These kids definitely move you from a serene place where you feel like you have control over your surroundings to a place where your world is turned on its head at least 387 times a day. That’s got to do something to a person’s sanity.
Yep, crazy is a good word to describe what these kids do to you. They eat the food off your plate, paint your walls with sharpie markers, turn your last pair of black pumps into matching battle ships in the wading pool, teach you the value of having the poison control number glued to the phone, test the structural integrity of all your furniture, and are sure to teach you a lesson about “borrowing” your Mother-in-law’s Lexus without her knowledge. So, I guess it is rather remarkable that I am not completely bonkers. Well, I’m not sure I can say that with conviction. Let’s just say that I haven’t been institutionalized…yet.
And, without a doubt, I would do this “kid thing” all over again. You see, that my friends, is proof of God’s existence. Because even though they have turned my life upside down and inside out, I love the little boogers more than I can express in words. It’s love when you see the beauty in the picture your toddler drew on the wall with your set of colored sharpies. It’s love when you see the ingenuity in your little son’s little mind when he figured out the black pumps would make the best boats because they didn’t have holes like the pink ones. It’s love when you walk into the living room and are truly enamored with the complexity of the fort your son created with all the clean and previously folded laundry. Yes, my friends, that kind of love has to come from something greater than me. That kind of love is divine.
God gives us the gift of children to reveal to us the nature of who he is. Many times over, the bible calls humanity the “children of God.” And if we really think about it, in our experiences with our children, we see that God is showing us how much he loves. We love our children without hesitation, through tough moments, unconditionally, and forever. And so it is with God. St. Paul tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Now that I am a Mother, I get that. In fact, I get it more and more each day, every day, and all the live-long day.
So, yes, I am older. I need a makeover. I need sleep. I could use a few dollars in the bank and I probably need more time for myself. But, I am not in want of love. And I thank God each day for this great opportunity to know what true love is, how to love and how to be loved- like crazy.