Thursday, February 28, 2019

To Middle Age...and Beyond

For months I have felt stuck or maybe a little misplaced in my mothering role. Putting down my thoughts and sharing "ah ha" parenting moments futile.
Don't get me wrong -- my kids still call my name multiple times a day -- to find their favorite shirt or to know where I've hidden the Nutella, but I've felt a shift that feels both unsettling and freeing at the same time.

This is what I know
1. Though my kids think 47 makes me "beyond middle age", age is only a number and my feelings of displacement are normal and are preparing me for the next phase of life. There is lots of life and adventure waiting for this old lady.
2. The frequency with which I require help from my kids to sort out techy things is on the rise. Also, I know my age is showing when I find it almost impossible not to say "please" and "thank you" to Suri.
3. Music favorites of my youth are now part of the oldies station.
4.  As my age number has increased, my social circle has decreased. I've become more choosy with whom I spend my time.
5. Though I think I want a crystal ball to show me what happens next, I've learned surprises can be a good thing. If someone had told me five years ago my allergies could be put to rest and our family would have a dog -- I never would have believed it. Although we got a dog for the kids...because for years Nat had been creating Power Point presentations to communicate her desire and Noah just needed a faithful friend to help him cope with new places/situations - I now realize I may have needed her most. Training her has sparked joy...something I had felt in short supply. She has also offered me mental challenges to mix up the mundane chores of running a household. In addition, her need for exercise has required me to get off my butt and move. Because of Truvy I have more energy, less jiggle and better health. When we got her, we knew we wanted to travel with her -- for her to be a support to Noah and just for fun. However, she had trouble with carsickness which led to anxiety. Because of this, we have spent months trying to reshape her feelings about riding in the car. For weeks I would lure her with treats to sit near the car -- not inside it, just near it. (her fear was so great). Once we were successful with that, Steve and I would bring her into the car and sit and feed her treats...next step involved turning on the engine. Finally we moved up to driving up the street and then to a local park. We stopped and started this process at least three times because she'd get to a point and then would have an episode (ie. vomit). I worried we'd never get to take her anywhere. Last weekend we had our first full-fledged successful car adventure with her. We drove to Rockwoods Conservation area. Not only did she do great in the car, but she adored the trail. And, Noah who had moaned about going...who vowed "I'm not leaving the house!" settled down once Truvy was successfully loaded in the car. Her presence soothing to him. Together our family walked a 1.5 mile trail called Through the Trees. It was windy, but it was wonderful.

To middle age...and beyond.