...The Boogey Man...that creature of fearful imagination, capable of scaring small children into sleepness, haunting their dreams, manifesting as the monster under the bed or in the closet...Does it ever go away, the Boogey Man, or does it morph as we grow older, to reflect our maturing fears?
The reason I bring this up is because I have an eye doctor appointment on Friday, and my current Boogey Man is the following sentence: "You need bi-focals."
Well, these days, they call those "Progressive Lenses". Yeah. Because your vision is getting progressively worse, is my guess. Whatever you want to call them, for whatever reason---a bi-focal is still a bi-focal, no matter what you wrap it up in to make it smell better.
I've thought for years that being an adult is highly overrated. Who the heck wants the headache and hassle of mortgages, car payments, life insurance premiums, jobs that demand your presence on a regular basis, no one to do your laundry for you (unless you're married and your spouse does your laundry), skyrocketing inflation, a world going to hell in a handbasket around your ears? Sure there are some good trades for being an adult---adult beverages, no bedtime, no curfew, no school (but if you're a parent, you're likely doing homework STILL)...there's more, I'll just suggest at this point you could use your own imagination to fill in the blank I'm leaving here (after all, my mother sometimes reads my blog).
Things I wouldn't trade to be a kid again:
My own kids. I have three terrific sons. I can't imagine my life without my three sons---love for the family you're born into, the love for your spouse are totally different than the love you harbor for your kids. This isn't to say that I wouldn't shove anyone I loved out of the path of an oncoming, out-of-control semi-truck loaded for bear---but not only would I do that for my kids, I'd then pick my broken self up off the pavement and pummel the snot out of the driver of said out-of- control semi-truck. I would throw myself on the ground to cushion my child's fall to prevent them from being hurt---something I told my oldest son this spring after he did a nifty header over his scooter and landed on his teeth. He's an Aspie, and he couldn't let it go until finally I told him, "Look, Kid, if there was some way I could've been there to break or take your fall for you, I'd've done it." That seemed to make it all better for him. He said, "Really, Mom?" "You bet. I would jump in front of an oncoming truck to shove you to safety." His reply to that? A sweet, "I love you, Mom."
Life experience. Let's face it, as teenagers, we're idiots. It's amazing we live into our twenties and beyond. There is no way I'd go back to being the shy, awkward teen that I was more years than I'll admit to out loud. I like to think I've earned each laugh line around my eyes. I don't begrudge any laugh lines I now possess---I think wrinkles add depth and character and interest to a person's face. Sure, I'll swap the Zit Years for the Wrinkle Years. In a heartbeat. The only thing I don't particularly want to enter my life, and thanks to excellent genes I inherited from my parents, so far, I've only found one of these---gray hair. In order to continue living with my delusion, I color my hair. I figure if I can't see 'em, the grays aren't there. However, I also figure in about oh, 7-10 years I'll feel differently about the advent of gray hair into my life. On a man, the silvery wisps are distinguished and sexy. Not so much on a woman, in my not-so-humble opinion, although I'll just add, I think it depends on the woman and how she carries herself. I'm comfortable with my wrinkles---one day, I'll be comfortable with my silver.
My friends. I've found that as I've grown older, my friendships are deeper. I have a best friend I wouldn't trade for the world, couldn't imagine not having her in my life. In addition to Sherry, I have a Valerie and a Jenny, both Australians---and I've only met Valerie---but the distance and lack of face-to-face doesn't diminish our friendships. I think it makes them all the more dear, and Sherry and I have met face-to-face exactly twice. What a world we live in, isn't it, when our best friends can live in different states, and indeed different countries---and that distance is swallowed up by the technology of the Internet. How did we live without the Internet? Without cell phones? LOL.
My husband. What adventures we've had over the years. He gave me three precious gifts. And he (mostly) deals well with my battiness.
I like to think that as I've grown older, I've learned more about who I am. I've certainly grown into my skin, comfortable and happy to be me---able to laugh at myself and my quirks, and absolutely not apologetic for my (warped) sense of humor; the way I talk and think; I'm a tried and true loyal friend to those I call friend---but I learned the hard way that life is way too short to cling to friendships that are noticeably skewed unequally. It took me a very long time to figure out it's not my responsibility or obligation to ensure that the entire world likes me. Our differences are what make the world go around, make life and this grand planet we live on so fascinating. How boring we'd be if we were Stepford People. I am who I am, no apologies or excuses.
What am I looking forward to?
Daughters-in-law. Fair warning---I will be one of those mothers who will have a lot to say about the women my sons eventually marry. I have no intention of being one of the horrid MIL's that evoke fear, hatred and misery, but I don't think it's unreasonable of me to want the best for my boys.
Grandchildren. It did shake my world when my cousin became a grandmother a few years ago. She's only 8 months older than I am, and at that time, I certainly wasn't ready to be "Granny-Aged." Now, well, I'm Granny-Aged thanks to more people than just my cousin, and I'm okay with it. In fact, just recently, it occurred to me that I want my grandchildren to call me "Grannie." Yep. I'm going to be a Grannie one day, and while I can wait a while longer (how about 10-15 years?), it's not so mind-boggling any more. GGG. I do have a hard time picturing my parents as GREAT-Grandparents, though. LOL. I'm sure they're in no hurry either. ;)
Life. There's so much still ahead. I have a high schooler, a middle schooler and one still in elementary. There's Prom, First Cars, First Dates, Girlfriends---so many "firsts" out there for my boys still. There's that still-ambiguous "Everyone's Grown And Gone" still looming. Again, like Grannie-hood, I'm in no hurry for them to be grown and gone. There will be graduations, weddings, babies, retirements and more to look forward to in the upcoming years.
There. I think that pretty much banished the Boogey Man following me. Annihilated it into the dust, where it belongs. *Dusting off hands.*