Ifelt it when I hung the 2010 calendar on the wall and the feeling strikes every time I write the year 2010. It’s a strange feeling. Not joyful anticipation nor is it fear. There’s some disbelief mixed with a bit of melancholy, some gratitude and a lot of plain acceptance. It is what it is, turning 60 this year, and, as they say, I am trying to wrap my head around it.
My youngest son, Dana, turned 28 yesterday. As a married first-time homeowner with a 5-month-old child and a career in the newspaper business, his life parallels mine at that same age. In 1978, I was married with 1-year-old twins, four years of newspaper experience under my belt and had a mortgage on a home with the view of Pearl Harbor from the kitchen window.
Unlike my twins who spent nearly the first three months of their lives in the neo-natal care unit, Dana was born full term at a midwife’sresidence (I was done with hospitals) just minutes after I walked through the door on the evening of April 6, 1982. An experience totally opposite to the drama that unfolded when the twins arrived 10 weeks prematurely, Dana’s birth was without incident or teams of medical staff. We went home together just two hours later. That night was a foreshadowing of our future together as mother and son. Dana was and always has been healthy, stable, and easy to care for.
When I reminisce about my sons growing up, I see their soft brown eyes, rosy cheeks and chubby hands holding Tonka trucks or baby chicks or poking sticks into the creek behind our house on a hot summer day. I see us all loaded up in the blue Volvo station wagon on our way to Saturday soccer games or to some buddy’s birthday party.
Who is the young woman driving? I don’t remember how she felt or whatshe was thinking.
She worked all day then came home and cooked dinner, helped with homework, washed P.E. uniforms and muddy socks and packed lunches. She got the players to track meets, football games, tennis matches, soccer tournaments, marching band competitions and even to the dance all on time.
What did it feel like to be me then? What dreams did I have?
While we were busy living, life blew by like trade winds, warm and swift. The cuddly boys grew into handsome men as I racked up 59 birthdays along the way.
Depending on which side of 60 you’re on, you might be sympathetic to my current state of mind, or not. This milestone birthday has me a little off balance, but the boys and their families are coming to help me through it. It’s a little hard to accept that it’s already time to be60, but like I said at the beginning, I’m trying to wrap my head aroundit. I’ve got just five weeks.