My friend Lee Ann has two sons in their early 20s. The older of her sons has just bought a small house with his lady love. They’re fixing it up for a few weeks before moving in – new paint, new bathroom, face lift for the kitchen cabinets. Lee Ann and her husband are going to spend the weekend helping them work on the place, and hopefully the young couple will be moving in by mid-month.
Hearing about these two kids starting out on their life together made me surprisingly emotional. I don’t even know them, and yet I misted up thinking of young people, full of hope and dreams, fixing up their first place, taking the first small step to creating a family of their own. I thought of my own first place with Sir Monkeypants, how excited we were to have a home of our own. I can even chuckle over that big fight we had over which drawer to keep the computer cables in (…almost).
Then it hit me: I am old. I have moved from the young person generation to the Mom Generation. I’ve become one of those ladies who wear hats to weddings and clutch handkerchiefs to their chests as they marvel at The Beauty Of Youth. I am a woman who smiles beatifically at young couples, telling them completely embarrassing things like cherish this time and you’ll always remember this moment and you have your whole lives ahead of you. BLECH.
I know I turned 40 this year but the truth is, I don’t usually feel old. I remember my own mother at this age but in my mind, I am nothing like that. I’m still hip, still cool, still fun. When I’m blowing bubbles for the kids in the backyard and making snack for soccer and laughing with the girls at poker, I still feel like I’m part of the Young Generation.
But it seems that my mother and I have been getting closer and closer without me noticing. There’s a fuzzy grey line out there between a life that is beginning, and a life that is at the middle, and sometime in there, I passed it. My life as a twentysomething can only be seen through a haze of romantic nostalgia. I now look fondly on Young People and want to pat their heads and give them hugs and wish them luck. And offer them advice on how to tile a bathroom.
For the first time, I really noticed that I’m not young anymore. But I also noticed that all that I hoped and dreamed of as a young person is now here – a beautiful family, the skills to make pie, the confidence to speak to strangers, the knowledge that it’s okay if I can’t please everyone all the time. Something is lost with the coming of my new age group (now checking the box for age 40-55 on government forms!), but plenty has been gained, too.
So to the young couple – I wish you well. Cherish this time. You’ll always remember this moment.
See you when you catch up to my generation.