The Other Side Of The Hill

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.

8 thoughts on “The Other Side Of The Hill

  1. So well put. Makes me feel a whole lot better about going into my middle years and starting to act and make jokes like my father. 😉 Thanks for that!

  2. Beautifully expressed. I had this sudden realization this summer too: I sat across from the young man who is our marketing intern this year and it struck me dumb to realize that I am old enough to actually be his mother. How did that happen??

    p.s. Where the heck are your The! Dance! Show! posts. I’m waiting!

  3. Right now I’m really appreciating forms that have check boxes labeled 26 – 40 and 41 – 55 instead of 25 – 39 and 40-54. They buy me one more year of being in the lower age bracket, and dammit I need that year!

    I’ve been noticing my age, too. We have a new crop of co-op students in at work. One particularly smart and perky young girl keeps making references to things she did “a few years ago” and then “I think it was the summer after grade 12”. And then I start calculating in my head how many years ago the summer after grade 12 was…


  4. Oh, I am like that too when I hear about two young things just starting out…makes me all emotional and nostalgic and JUST LIKE MY DAMN GRANDMA. I actually refer to people in their twenties as “kids”. I mentioned the kid across the street and then had to clarify – he’s like 21.

  5. this is a realyl lovely post. speeding down the hill to my 40th coming up in a couple of months, i am starting to think “i’m old.” but i don’t feel old. i don’t think i act old. so i can’t be old, right? but then again, avg age of women in canada is 78, so really i’m already on the down side.

    ack! i’ve taken this lovely post and turned into an afternoon depression.

    lovely post lynn. you’re not old. just lived a good life so far.

  6. Can I just copy and paste this post onto my blog when I turn 40 in a couple of months? Because it’s just perfect and captures exactly how I have been feeling.

  7. Loved your post, Lynn! I had a “misty moment” myself today in the car on the way to The Young Couple’s house. About a week from now my son will have a new address and that leaves a big hole in my house and my heart!
    But meanwhile I had an appointment with a new doctor, who phrased a question beautifully: “How young are you, hon?” she asked me.
    I think “old” is everyone at least twenty years ahead of me!

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