Ah, to be young

18 Mar

I’ve spent a lot of time lately, thinking about time. About how I don’t want to age, how much I love being able to appreciate my life right now, how much I love my life.

That’s right. I love my life. I sat on the floor today, playing with my children. Sure, this seems ordinary to most mothers, but for me? It’s a step, an incremental improvement in my life and mood. I’ve never been able to sit and play with my kids before. I’ve never settled down enough to lie there and enjoy how Rosalyn destroys all my block castles and Vivian makes all the dinosaurs attack eachother. I have trouble sitting still at the best of times, and being able to sit with my daughters-it’s a pure type of happy, one I’ve never had before. It’s like a cold shower on a hot day.

It’s wonderful-why did no one tell me about this before?

Earlier, as Vivian was sleeping after I got back from a mall trip with my father (who always buys lots of cooking stuff, and then cooks with it, which RULES) I brought Ros upstairs with me to put some clothes away. Then we sat, me reading the last essay from this book (OMFG SO GOOD! GO BUY IT! The last essay is perfection!), her reading her new Backyardigans book, snuggled under “bankie!”. How sweet, sitting quietly reading with my girl, enjoying the silence, and the purity of a Sunday afternoon today, celtic music playing on the CBC, her brown eyes staring into mine, pointing, “Mommy!”

I can grasp these moments as I never could before, when I was young. I always tried to stop and just “be”, and yet some part of me always held on, was distracted, weaving in and out of thoughts that were elsewhere. I never just smiled to smile.

The other day, the sidewalk was greasy from freezing rain, and I ran and slid across it, about 10 feet. I stopped at the edge of it, and turned, giggling. Enclosed in the moment, I was happy, and giddy, and fun. My mouth couldn’t help but turn up at the edges, pleased with itself.

My youth never afforded this-it gave me insecurity, sadness, strangeness. I’ll be 30 this year. 30, the age I never expected to reach, the age at which I only saw blackness, nothing beyond it. I worry that now, after attaining a modicum of peace with my life, something will happen, that the blackness with engulf. I wait for the other shoe to drop, much as it has in the past.

But unlike then, I have hope. I have two daughters who offer their sticky hands and faces to me, on the floor, laughing. I have Vivian who tells me I’m her best friend, I have Rosalyn who bolts from her bedroom for 30 more minutes with me at night. My youth never afforded me such simple pleasures-I always sought more complicated ones. It took me this long to absorb the fact that sometimes, the simple things are the sweetest, like lemonade on a sweaty July afternoon.

I’m not young anymore, I’m not old. I’m here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

13 Responses to “Ah, to be young”

  1. Francesca (Stuntmother) March 18, 2007 at 7:48 pm #

    I am a lurker (I hope you don’t mind) here either via Karrie or Venessa, not sure which. This post spoke so clearly to me. So loud and clear, it almost made me cry. I know this joy, the astonishing awareness that I am in the moment, living it and enjoying it and that it is, in whatever shape it is, a glorious moment. Each one is a gift. You are showing that to me here. Thank you.

  2. bine March 19, 2007 at 6:36 am #

    oh thordora, what a beautiful post!
    it really hit me that 30 seems to be the magical age that a lot of us don’t seem to be able to think beyond. both my man and i never expected to reach thirty, i found out. now we’re nearing fourty. my father mentioned the same to me once, not that he expected to die early, just that he couldn’t imagine being older than thirty when he was young. lots of my friends voiced that same feeling. it was always the age of thirty that seemed like a black hole in the distance, i wonder why.
    i spent my late twenties and early thirties kind of numbed, as if on standby, by my mothers death, and i only started really enjoying life fully at about 34. now i believe i’m enjoying it more than in my teens or earlier twenties.
    as much as those grown-up everyday worries of making ends meet bother me sometimes (like you mention in your sigh… post a while ago) i feel i’m taking hold of my life (leading a life is a very meaningful expression i think) instead of just following it along.
    i no longer feel i have to walk the paths prepared for me by others. i care for myself. i care for others. i feel free to act childish, or irresponsible sometimes. as long as i don’t harm others, who should give a damn?
    i’m sure you’ll find out life is just as bright on the other side of thirty. enjoy those simple pleasures.

  3. Joyce March 19, 2007 at 8:31 am #

    you are a talented, soulful writer.
    What a meaningful post.

  4. venessa March 19, 2007 at 8:44 am #

    Great post, thor. I am turning 28 in two weeks. I am so depressed about it. I feel like I am inching my way to the end of my life. Then I think maybe when I turn 30, it will be a great liberating day and I can start living the rest of my life without caring about numbers. I don’t know what the big effin’ deal with 30 is and why it feels like the end of my youth. I know lots of people in their 30s and 40s and 50s who are spunky and young and full of energy. And I intend to be that way too. 🙂

  5. Marcy March 19, 2007 at 8:55 am #

    Wonderful. May such moments recur often.

  6. puddlejumper March 19, 2007 at 9:15 am #

    This post made me smile after what has been a crappy weekend. Suddenly money worries don’t seem so important.

    Thankyou for reminding me of the simple pleasures. One of the reason’s we are so skint just now was because I so missed doing exactly the kind of things you are talking about. Just hanging out with my kids, having fun, laughing; I never had the energy left for that when I did the job I was doing.

    You will love your thirties. I know I am. I have more confidence, more appreciation for things, I take less shit from other people. The wisdom gained from having already lived a little makes up for any notion of losing one’s youth.

  7. thordora March 19, 2007 at 9:49 am #

    That’s what I’m hoping Puddle. I’ve come a long way in the last twenty years, and I feel that I deserve all that I have. It’s so freeing to accept what’s mine.

    I’m glad this post resonated with all of you. In reading ‘Because I said so!”, I’ve come to internalize many of the facets of womanhood, and motherhood. And it’s all good.

    And lurk away Stuntmother! So long as you delurk occasionally.

  8. peggykerroll March 19, 2007 at 11:04 am #

    Okay, now I’m going to sqwee all over your blog. I love this. I just love it.

  9. Eden March 19, 2007 at 12:15 pm #

    I join the squee.

    I have a book for you. E-mail me your address & I’ll Amazon you a copy 😉

  10. jkdufair March 19, 2007 at 8:07 pm #

    I have been happy all day thinking about this post. Even since I’ve known you this short time, it’s great to see you change into someone more happy to be in her skin.

    Happy almost-30. I’m 37 and would never go back. I do miss some things about my 20s, but you gain a lot of wisdom in your 30s that I wouldn’t want to trade back in. Perhaps my 40s will be even better.

  11. CrankMama March 20, 2007 at 3:32 pm #

    Plain Jane is right, T, this is incredibly touching! Thanks for sharing.

  12. thordora March 20, 2007 at 3:53 pm #

    Everyone has been so receptive to this post, and it’s making ME want to squee. 🙂

  13. Bon March 21, 2007 at 8:06 am #

    squee, squee…i’m joining the fest. i think the post speaks to a lot of us who are surprised by finding aging to be more of a gift than we ever expected. i know i’m just getting to the “lie on the floor and watch the baby knock down blocks” stage…and it’s still work sometimes just to settle there and be…but it’s good. this reminder helps. thanks.

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