Monday, November 15, 2010

The Old Gray Mare

I had my children later in life. I think sometimes people wait because they want to be more financially secure, but when it comes to children, I'm not sure a person can ever be completely ready. That wasn't really the case with me, just thought I'd throw that out there. Actually, I had wanted children earlier, but life just had different plans for me. And when I least expected it, here came the curve ball that we later named Kaiden.

There are a lot of pros to being an older parent, but there are a lot of cons, too. That became very apparent when I was at my 20th class reunion. I'd pull out my photos of my tots to show them off and they would pull out theirs. Most of them were senior portraits. Empty nesters at my age. Wow, what a concept! Of course, then I would be worrying about how to pay for college right now. But I would be lying if I said I didn't envy them sometimes.

I would only have to laundry once a week. I could by milk a gallon at a time. Shawn and I could actually have an uninterrupted conversation. My house would stay clean for longer than 15 minutes. I could buy new furniture and not have to worry about wear and tear. I could wear a white shirt. The most used word in my vocabulary would not be "What?" I could attend any function without having to plan weeks in advance. My car would not be filled with toys and wrappers. I might also be able to watch what I wanted on television AND be able to hear it. I could invest in a gym membership. Wait. That might be pushing it.

Even at this age, at the end of the day, my energy is zapped. And to think, I will be 55 by the time the last one leaves home. IF they leave home. (They better, or I'll charge rent!)

I'm already surprised at how they try to outsmart me, even at the young age they're at. Just think of when I'm older and my mind is not as sharp! For instance, Kamrin was being particularly sassy one night. I had warned him that his behavior was going to earn him a ban from television. He informed me that I would be banned from television. I said, "Kamrin. If you don't quit being a smart aleck, I'm going to have to put you in time out." He started to return fire, "You are being a smart..."

"Kamrin," I interrupted, "You don't want to go there."

"What? I said you smart. My (I) being nice."

Really? He doesn't think I see through that one? And I'm pretty sure they will start teaming up to try and outsmart Shawn and I. My sons were watching TV on one of the channels geared toward children. After about the 5th toy commercial and the fifth time that Kamrin said, "I want that." I finally told him that if he wanted that, it would be a good idea to save up his money so he could buy it himself. As I was leaving the room, I heard Kaiden lean over and whisper, "You don't have to save your money. Just ask Santa for it." Yeah, they're schemers.

You have to be able to remember from day to day, the things that you have told them about the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and Santa Claus. I remember one year while celebrating Christmas at my parents' house (Grammie, Papa and Sophie the dog), and it was Christmas Eve. We were having a hard time getting them to go to bed and go to sleep. So we told them that Santa wouldn't come if they were awake. We put them in their bed, and just to make sure they would close their eyes, we found a Christmas door hanger with jingle bells on it and Shawn went outside and shook it to sound like sleigh bells. Well that seemed to work. But then just the other night, Kaiden asked me, "What if I'm not asleep when Santa comes?" I told him Santa would have to wait to come until he WAS asleep. "But what if the dogs bark when he comes and wake me up?" I told him that Santa had special Christmas powers that made dogs like him. "Then how come Sophie barked at Grammie's house?" Oh yeah. Forgot about that.

So, yes, some days I feel lucky that I color my hair, because I'm pretty sure there are some gray ones in there and the two deep wrinkles between my eyebrows have gotten deeper. But all-in-all, I'm fairly certain that they are keeping me young at heart.

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