In the middle of it…

red ink…

When particularly stressed, my mother used to say that she felt like she “was coming apart at the seams.”. It always sounded so dramatic coming from her, and I can remember just walking away rolling my teenaged eyes.   Sadly, she really did suffer from dementia near the end of her life, but I most remember her saying this when she was, well, around my age actually – about 50.  Just the number alone is enough to make me “fall apart at the seams.”   Picture a rag doll with the stuffing coming out on one side and a string hanging precariously off of one side.  Kind of dramatic, huh? I think I may be turning into my mother… 

Lately, I feel like I’m on the verge of tears way too often and I can’t exactly pinpoint the cause.  Is it peri-menopause, frustration after a day of trying too hard to get it all done and not quite making it, more gray hair everywhere with each passing day?  Or is it that my elderly relatives seem to be dying one right after the other, or maybe it’s the constant debates with at least one of my teens or pre-teen over everything from breakfast to bedtime, or is it that one of my very best girls has breast cancer?  Any one of these is enough to process at once, but all together?  Ah, the joys of “middle” age…I know now why people buy sports cars!  Some days you just want to ride away from it all…and fast.   

You know everything with the word “middle” in it has some sort of negative association — middle passage, middle child, middle seat, or even the perpetually squeezed, middle class.  I know why people talk about being “stuck in the middle.” I even have a middle son – one of the true joys of my life (who I named with my own initials). Now, no one could ask for a better son – he’s smart as a whip, handsome, and oh so loving, except when he is outrageously demanding and self-involved!  (Maybe “middles” have to be that way to survive?) And you must know that I, along with Barb and the rest of her close friends and family, were all collectively dreading the “middle” of her treatment.   There was no preparing for what was expected to be the “worst” of it.   I was just bracing myself, as I know she was, because I/we just didn’t know what to expect.   There were tears in my turkey as I waited to hear that she was o.k.   Though Friday was definitely not a day to repeat by her report, my best girl made it to the other side of the “middle” and maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t quite as awful as we’d imagined…there were even jokes at her Thanksgiving table.   

The only truly good thing about the word “middle” is that it implies that there is something better on the other end.   (Note to Barb – you’re on your way to the other end, now!)   Most days, I try to remind myself that like other challenging periods before, this is just a phase of my life that will pass and that I might actually look back on some of this with fondness.  (We could look back on the start of this blog as, at least, a silver lining.)  

As I write, at this moment, none of my kids are old enough to drive.  My concerns about them are confined to the uncertainty during the school day, after school hanging out, the  ride to and from on public transportation or the occasional party, but my oldest, my son with Asperger’s, turns 16 in March, and naturally he wants to drive! The day he gets his license, my worries will multiply exponentially, with or without the Asperger’s, and my second son is right behind him.   One day they will all be beyond my reach and my nights won’t end with everyone in their beds when we cut off the lights downstairs.  My youngest will graduate from high school in six years.  If those six years go by even half as  quickly as the past 15,  I will be waving goodbye from my empty nest in a blink.  (Note to self – don’t rush through the middle…savor it for all it’s flavor.)  

It’s funny because my girl isn’t up for claiming middle age at all.   We even debated about it when talking about our audience for the blog.   I say, call it what it is.  Now she’s a few years younger than I am, so she gets a pass for now, though I’m feeling, for lack of a better term, smack dab in the middle of it!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bwats
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 18:48:33

    You are SEVERAL years from 50! So stop saying you are 50 or middle aged! It’s all in the spirit of the person. You my dear, have a young spirit so claim it!


  2. inkwellchicks
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 04:04:11

    Thanks girl…trying to hang on to that youthful spirit…The “spirit” is willing but the flesh is turning 50 soon no matter how I try to get around it. Lol!


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