My son, Tater, seems to be in a constant growth spurt. It seems that purchasing him new pants really makes those hormones kick into gear and within mere weeks, the pants that fit – or even seemed too long – are suddenly three inches too short.
I don’t even see it happening. Every time I hug him it feels like he’s a little closer to looking me in the eye. But I look at pictures of him when he was 3 and 4 and he still looks like the same kid to me.
This is how change happens, right? So slowly you don’t notice. But so quickly that you stand back and go WHOA…what just happened here?? Some trick of time and perception.
I heard an old song on the radio last night – I Saw the Sign, by Ace of Base – remember them?
I got a new life
You would hardly recognize me
I’m so glad
And somehow, between the, Holy crap, they still play this on the radio? and the How old am I anyway? I thought, yep, that’s me. New life – hardly recognizable.
Yet, really not all that different.
These weekends (yep, it’s every-other-weekend again – that’s when I get all introspective) are utterly unrecognizable as my life. To me anyway. Who on earth is this person looking for things to do? Wandering about New York and going to vegan restaurants with her friends? Sleeping late with no one around to notice and give her a hard time about it? Going to movies with other people and their children.
Who IS she?
But then Sunday comes, and I am me again. The regular old me. Trying to convince kids that it is no longer shorts weather. Making people do homework and trying to rip their little eyes away from some screen. Quelling the drama associated with things that don’t work as they should. Searching for lost Bucky Balls.
I recognize her.
But then when I really think about it (and when I am being the “new girl” I have time to do such things) I guess even the “real me” is different than she used to be.
It isn’t like I just slip back on those domestic goddess clothes (they probably wouldn’t actually fit anymore anyway) and resume life circa 2009 on a normal day. I’ve done new things. Had my heart broken. Become likely more cynical (who knew that was even possible.) I have had a growth-spurt. And I don’t just mean the 10 stress-induced pounds that I “earned” in the last year or so.
2009 me thought she knew what the next 10 years were going to look like. And she was cool with it, really. But 2012 me is wondering what to make of it all.
There’s no auto-pilot for 2012 me.
That girl needs to figure out what happens next. One step at a time. One potentially death-defying step. And then another.
It does occur to me that perhaps life has become too small. I spend too much time alone. I spend too much time sitting in my house. There are days where I literally do not set foot outside, or my outside forays are limited to solitary dog walks. That’s probably not ideal.
Any day now 2012 me has to figure out what’s next. The right balance of old and new. Exciting and stable.
I am mulling over more wisdom from the song last night (who knew Ace of Base had such sage words to offer):
No one’s gonna drag you up
To get into the light where you belong
But where do you belong
I’m (sorta) ready to get into the light. Maybe one of those CFLs that takes its time brightening up.
So where DO I belong? Gotta start dragging myself there, and I really am looking forward to figuring out where/what it is. It’s time to do whatever’s next.
But first, I probably need to go get my boy some new pants.