Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Hair is Turning Grey

My Hair is Turning Gray and my Mom's getting Wrinkles.
And other wondrous things you realize after 30.

I've been watching my hair. What started as nice little highlights in my bangs that made me look a little "experienced and sophisticated" has now blossomed into a full take over. Gray hairs reach down to my shoulders. They grab the light- and my attention.

I also noticed that my wardrobe is getting more conservative. I am wearing more jackets, longer skirts, and the only thing that fits tight are the waist bands of my pants. Gone are the strappy 5" heels, something about chasing toddlers didn't work well in them. Gone are the bright prints and all shirts designed to show off my bust line or leave little to the imagination.

I've become accepting of that paunch in my belly. Although, sometimes I still imagine wearing a spanx- I know my need to breathe would get in the way.

Instead of dinners where I wait until I'm hungry to see what to make, I have all items defrosted and ready for my chef hands at 4pm. Instead of a carefree "What are we going to do tonight (Pinky)? We have nearly ever minute planned until we scraggle of to bed with a basket of folded laundry.

These changes I sometimes bemoan. Did the world catch up with me and is it making me pay? Or is this the price for experienced gained in 30 something years?

I've traded my concern with how "Hot" I look in public to how happy and healthy my children look. I gave up fighting my eccentric side. It was easier to ignore it. My painting set still sits in it's box, 8 feet high. My hair bows and scarves are now my daughter's play things, and white, sturdy bras overwhelm my underwear drawer.

My cars are well used, my walls are scribbled on. But my garden is growing, green and happy in the sunlight.

I look forward to and mourn (at the same time) my fertility ending. One would imagine after 5 kids I would happily exchange midnight feedings and diaper changes for menopause, but those people forget the warmth of newborns on your chest, the milky smiles and those innocent searching eyes, the grabbing fists on your shirt, those first words and the cute fortitudes of movements.

I am proud of what I have accomplished and very patient with what I have put off until later. I used to look at my parents and admire them for what they have accomplished. Now I see them turning into my grandparents. My dad, still trying to hold to the ideals he had, admittedly, yet to reach, reminds me of my grandfather Curmudgeon. My Mother, and her patience for shopping, meetings and medical appointments, reminds me of an angel. She too has changed, but not in her ability to accomplish things and enjoy life.

Her age, I see in her face, droopy eyelids over twinkling eyes. Yesterday it shocked me- wrinkles on her cheeks. But her tenacity, her strength, her ability to change, within herself and in the outside world, things that need to be changed. I honor that and do not mind one day becoming like her.

Meanwhile, I am growing gray on my own and showing my age with essays of musing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about something like this this morning, but from a different perspective.

I've worked with a lot of women in their 40's and early 50's, the age of "I'm free", free the daily family routine, the 4pm thaw, the midnight feedings, the 7am breakfast grind before school, and what it comes down to is in their 20+ years of parenting they lost themselves. They never put aside the laundry and took down the paintset to paint for a while to their heart's content. They never took a weekend away because they didn't feel they had the support from their spouses, family or community to do so. They stopped wearing the bright colors and reading what they loved. And now, many of them are divorced and trying to be healers, healers of others, to heal themselves. They take class after class, to regain some sense of self, some sense of purpose and being beyond motherhood and marriage, which to them sapped them dry.

It is hard, indeed, to be a mother, to accomplish daily personal and family goals, have a personal life outside of family, outside of marriage, which to many isn't natural, because when you have kids all you're supposed to be and do is a mom. But, what happens when you aren't with younglings anymore, and all those years spent tending, not yourself, but others, leaves you feeling empty as a person, not just woman and mother, but a being, a unique divine being?

So, put aside the laundry and paint. You'll thank yourself 10 years from now when your breasts are down to your knees but you're looking flashy in something colorful and your walls include scribbles from you.