Confessions of a Reluctant Flasher

Today, we inadvertently flashed the pool man at our villa. I swear it was completely accidental!  I had hopped into the rain shower after a most satisfying workout at the gym. I had hiked up instead of taking a shuttle to our villa atop the mountain.  I had indulged in an extra few minutes of rain-like downpour in the shower. So I emerged, squeaky clean and feeling quite arcadian.

The view from our bathroom of the jacuzzi outside the bedroom, Montecristo Estates, sunset Beach, Cabo San Lucas. Photo credit Likeitiz

The view from our bathroom of the jacuzzi outside the bedroom, Montecristo Estates, sunset Beach, Cabo San Lucas. Photo credit Likeitiz

My hubby was getting ready to get in the shower next.  He did not see the bathroom door swing open from a sudden gust. I rushed to close the door. After all, we were both in our birthday suits. It wasn’t until the door was well on its swing to close that I noticed the silhouette beyond the terrace door sheers.  The unmistakeable brown hat. The sudden turning away of the torso.  He had seen us.

I went about getting dressed. I thought about the fleeting moment. Was he embarrassed by what he saw? I dared not go out to ascertain. My hubby came out of the shower. I mentioned it to him.

“We flashed the pool man, hon.” He looked at me blankly. “So?” His look said to me.

Have we become desensitized to nudity in general? After all, we’re from the San Francisco Bay Area, where nudity has been as mundane as street vendors in Cairo.  Recently, after Sunday brunch at our daughter’s new Edge-of-the-Castro apartment, we were treated to a view of two very happy nudists out and about on the street across from us. They wore cowboy boots and hats.  They did apply red socks to their members.  My hubby and I looked at each other and smiled. To each his own, I suppose. Does this qualify as an alternative definition for the saying, “put a sock on it?”

“David” is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504, by the Italian artist Michelangelo. It is a 5.17 meter (17 feet) marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favored subject in the art of Florence. Photo credit list verse.com

“David” is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504, by the Italian artist Michelangelo. It is a 5.17 meter (17 feet) marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favored subject in the art of Florence. Photo credit list verse.com

Well, what about nudity anyway?  American society has long been puritanical about it.  Talk about a real hang-up! In Europe, it’s not unusual to see a life-size poster of a woman taking a shower in all her frontal resplendence, in a supermarket end cap where shower and shampoo products deck the display shelves. Contrast that with the prohibition of showing a woman’s face, let alone her ankles in some utlra-conservative and orthodox cultures in the Middle East to this day. In Manila, a movie is rated “R” if at any portion, two breasts instead of one, is shown. Maybe Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga have the right idea to ruffle some evangelical feathers every now and then.

I remember when I was a teenager living in Manila, it was a social faux pas to allow anyone a peek up your skirt, nevermind if it was accidental, as in walking up the stairs or disembarking from a tall vehicle, in a skirt.  That was considered a major affront on your purity. The nuns and the elders would shake their heads disapprovingly. It’s as though we have been rendered less pure, less chaste, less virginal, at having been peeked at. It also assumed that all men are nothing less than voyeuristic louts who live for nothing else but these little jollies.

Created by Michelangelo (1475-1564), the Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary holding her only son, Jesus Christ, in her arms. Prior to sculpting the Pieta, Michelangelo was not a very known artist. He was only in his early twenties when he was told, in 1498, to do a life sized sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding her son in her arms. In about two years, from a single slab of marble, Michelangelo created one of the most beautiful sculptures ever. photo and text credit listverse.com

Created by Michelangelo (1475-1564), the Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary holding her only son, Jesus Christ, in her arms. Prior to sculpting the Pieta, Michelangelo was not a very known artist. He was only in his early twenties when he was told, in 1498, to do a life sized sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding her son in her arms. In about two years, from a single slab of marble, Michelangelo created one of the most beautiful sculptures ever. photo and text credit listverse.com

The human body has, for centuries, been lauded by renowned artists.  After all, were we not all supposed to have been made in the image of our maker?  But we have proceeded to camouflage, drape, and conceal it, for fear of inviting lewd thoughts and lewd acts. Or so, the religious right and the holier than you and me have purported.  Scantily clad people don’t do it to invite any kind of violation of their bodies anymore than athletes do when they dress for their sport, or dancers for their performances.

I say we celebrate our bodies (not inappropriately nor tastelessly of course!), regardless of age, regardless of what those old nuns say. Or not say.

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YearWrite Weekly Writing Challenge #157 Moonshine Grid

Posted in Nudity, self-righteousness, Ultra Conservative Right, YeahWrite | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

While Waiting

Late yesterday, I decided to treat myself to some munchables while waiting for everyone to return to the villa we have called home for the week.

My Merienda Cena while waiting for people to come home. Montecristo villas, Sunset Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, photo credit Likeitiz

My Merienda Cena while waiting for people to come home. Montecristo villas, Sunset Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, photo credit Likeitiz

I rummaged through the overfull fridge and decided on the pico de gallo and some totopos.  I saw there was still some wine left of the Lojen we brought with us.  So, I put them all together and sashayed out to the terrazzo overlooking the resort we are spending Easter week in.  Yep, we’re high up and the view is just sublime!  And yes, I could easily wake up to this everyday.  I will not need a lot of persuading!

iPad Air, the sun, the water, what's not to love?

iPad Air, the sun, the water, what’s not to love?

Of course, I brought my trusty iPad Air to post and read what my fellow bloggers are writing. Can’t do without that for a week now, can I?

Posted in Blogging, Cabo San Lucas, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Two Eggs

My daughter and her roomies have discovered a hummingbird nest in the backyard of their Castro rental. Mother bird has been busy tending to her two would-be off-springs.

Two eggs sit on their nest nestled among the greens on the backyard of our daughter's Castro rental. photo credit Lara Ortiz-Luis

Two eggs sit on their nest nestled among the greens on the backyard of our daughter’s Castro rental. photo credit Lara Ortiz-Luis

Notice how each egg is a different color. And a great color together too! How did she do it? She won’t say. She just continues to hum.

Posted in bird's nest, Gardens, Hummingbird, Nature, Postaweek, spring | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Dog Goes Everywhere!

My friends from Orinda have been empty nesters for longer than we have been. They raised three kids. Their youngest, a daughter, went to NYU and has been swallowed by the Manhattan scene ever since.

Hershey on an evening stoll along the Embarcadero (Bay Bridge Art Installation), photo credit Liz Regan

Hershey on an evening stroll along the Embarcadero (Bay Bridge Art Installation), photo credit Liz Regan

In the recent years, we have noticed that every couple of months, they would have a visitor.  Then, he became a border.  Slowly, he has insinuated himself into their daily lives. Now, it looks like he’s a permanent fixture in their household.

I’m referring to Hershey, a mix Corgi and Chow.  They don’t really know how old he is.  He was adopted from the pound by my friend’s son and his then girlfriend from years back.   The relationship went south but they amicably shared the care for Hershey.  Well, that was possible until Colin moved to New York and the Ex went to Law School.  And so, Hershey has been spending more and more time with my friends.  In fact, he’s been everywhere they have been!

Hershey on a hike in the Sunol, photo credit Liz Regan

Hershey on a hike in the Sunol, photo credit Liz Regan

There are many perks to being empty nesters.  The maddening period of juggling schedules and running around the entire Bay Area for meetings? Done.  The late nights up helping with projects or waiting to hear the front door open and close so we can close our other eye and the other half of our brain can go to sleep too? Check. The weekends spent driving to Reno or Sacramento or Chico for tournaments with cases of water, fresh fruits and other snacks?  Check.  The images have faded into wistful memories.

We can’t underestimate our need to nurture and care, however.  We celebrate the nest being empty but really, we still need the gentle intrusion somehow.  We still want and need the connection to our kids in one way or another.  Old habits die hard.

Hershey just woke up from a nap, photo credit Liz Regan

Hershey just woke up from a nap, photo credit Liz Regan

Posted in Corgi, dog, Empty Nest, Parenting, Pets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Coolest Biker Pooch

While walking around a street fair this afternoon, my hubby and I came across one of the coolest dogs yet!

The Coolest Biker Pooch Ever! Photo Credit (c) Likeitiz

The Coolest Biker Pooch Ever! Photo Credit (c) Likeitiz

Posted in dog, Dog clothing, Pets | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Flowers To Greet!

Cymbidiums at the front porch, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

Cymbidiums at the front porch, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

Happy Spring, everyone! My flowers want to greet you all!

Posted in Cymbidiums, Flowers, Orchids, Spring | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Gods Envy Us

“I’ll tell you a secret. Something they don’t teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”

                                                        Achilles, from the  2004 Movie, Troy

It has been quite the roller coaster ride these past few days. I’ve come to realize over the years that there are a few things that can compel me to stop dead on my tracks, that practically all my activities come to a screeching halt. Well, almost.  It’s when I’m so sick I can barely get out of bed.  These have been few and far between, thank goodness!  I’m not talking the odd sniffle or a bout of indigestion.  I’m talking full-blown asthma requiring repeated inhalations and even the dreaded oral steroids. Bitter. Nasty. Not good for my bones either.

It crept up from behind in the shadows of the back porch. I noticed a mild wind last Saturday. I thought my head throbbed. I dismissed it as maybe the effect of low blood sugar from having skipped lunch. Or maybe I wasn’t drinking enough. I went to bed slightly congested. I thought maybe a mild cold was starting. For the rest of the weekend, I started to cough and sputter. By Monday morning, I had the full-blown orchestra on my chest, with wind instruments predominating.

My bedside table full of meds, tea, reading material, tissue. PHoto Credit (c) Likeitiz

My bedside table full of meds, tea, reading material, tissue. Photo Credit (c) Likeitiz

They say that it’s not uncommon for fifty-somethings like me to think about mortality every now and then. In between bouts of breathiness, chest rattling,  and forceful hacking, when I managed to breathe calmly, I thought of people I know who have had a more direct confrontation with their possible leap to the great beyond. And I considered myself fortunate.  I’ve been miserable. I have been exhausted from coughing so frequently and my brain has been addled by all the medications I’ve had to ingest and inhale.  I’ve been sleep-deprived (and have also kept my hubby up for several nights now!) for days and nights. But I knew that my symptoms would abate in a few days with the requisite rest and medication.  I do not have a deadline. I don’t have a date with a cloaked stranger.

Troy and Briseis, from the  2004 film, Troy, photo credit fanpop.com

Troy and Briseis, from the 2004 film, Troy, photo credit fanpop.com

I thought about the scene in the film, Troy, where Achilles tells Briseis that the gods envy us (humans). I wonder if these Greek gods ever had the chutzpah to see beyond living day after day unendingly. Do they savor their days as much as we mortals do, knowing we can’t have forever? Then I realize my thought process would be too limited to grasp their vast complexity. So I let it go.

It has been almost five years since I was sick enough to stay home for a few days. Each time, I take it as a reminder that I am human and therefore, vulnerable.  I call in to work and I hear that my team manages. I am reminded that I am dispensable.  My hubby and my daughter have cared for me. I know I’m loved.

I woke up this morning feeling a little better. I think the worst part has passed. I took a shower and for lunch, I made myself a gorgeous salad.  No more soup.  I managed to demolish my creation without spewing chewed up greens across the kitchen when I had to cough.  For this, I am grateful.

Snoopy and Charlie Brown Dancing. From Stop First World Whining: Get Grateful, courtesy of  www.forgetthebox.net

Snoopy and Charlie Brown Dancing. From Stop First World Whining: Get Grateful, courtesy of http://www.forgetthebox.net

Posted in Asthma, Cough, Health, Illness, mortality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Shoes Eating Socks?

Cartoon courtesy of anopensketchbook.com

Cartoon courtesy of anopensketchbook.com

I recently acquired from Zappos a much coveted pair of Jambu Barefoots. It was an older edition so I had some difficulty finding it, and at the color I wanted too. As luck would have it, it was on sale too! There were not too many left. So, I decided to  purchase one. I have one other Jambu shoe from a few years ago so I went by  that previous experience.

My Jambu Barefoot, Photo Credit Likeitiz

My own Jambu Barefoot, Photo Credit Likeitiz

Almost everything about these shoes is perfect. I love that it’s soft and light but the soles are built with a lot of thought for support at the right spots and cushions where it’s needed.  My feet felt like they were on a TempurPedic bed all the time. It has enough width for my wide fronts so my toes can tap and stretch when they feel like dancing along. The color is a bright aqua blue with neon lime green accents.  It cried “fun!” to me. It ties just at the right distance on the midfoot so my heels should not come up when I lift my heel off the ground and my foot bends at the forefoot.

Photo courtesy of coffeeandcrazy.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of coffeeandcrazy.blogspot.com

I have always said that I should not buy shoes online unless I have tried the shoe in the exact style on my feet.  Well, the shoes are a tad loose at the heel.  It is still okay for walking in them but, my socks keep sinking down into the shoe to the point where it’s all scrunched down in a ball  halfway  through my feet! I tried longer socks, thicker socks, shorter socks, my Smartwools. Nothing worked!

Socks in Heaven, cartoon courtesy of google images/cartoonstock.com

Socks in Heaven, cartoon courtesy of Google images/cartoonstock.com

What was I to do? I love this shoe. I looked online. There was no available half-size smaller left anywhere. I dug my heels (no pun intended!) and with a stiff upper lip, decided to keep it.

Early this morning, I thought I’d look online at what other people have to say. I’m certain I’m not alone in this.  Some of the responses were too off the wall to include here but believe me, this issue has been discussed for ages!  Here’s a sampling of what I found:

 I’m Not Your Friend, Buddy says:

“Quit wearing bulldogs as shoes!!!”

Wha? You mean like this?

Dogs and their human's shoes, photo courtesy of pets.webmd.com

Dogs and their human’s shoes, photo courtesy of pets.webmd.com

Sandra Panda said:

“because you obviously don’t feed them enough.”

Jordan H volunteered:

“Why do birds fly south in the winter?”

Still some like Georgia G&G Gypsie contributed:

“I found that if I bought shoes that were a tad big, my socks would slide down from the friction created by the extra room in my shoes…if you get shoes that fit you perfectly-there shouldn’t be a problem :) good luck with those biting shoes :D”

And then, there is Aby from randomthoughtsofanagingartist.blogspot.com, who laments in a post:

“Why do my Crocs eat my socks?”

Still, there is Donna Fielder of DentonRC.com, who swears that Fiendish Socks Require Exorcism! She’s convinced they are possessed by demons! She’s a hoot, by the way.

Tut Uncommon mused:

“Perhaps the shoe wishes to frame the dryer in the great “Missing Sock” Mystery!”

I’ve trolled through most of them. Some recommend orthotics while some say it makes no difference. Others say it’s the friction between the loose heel, the back of the foot with the sock in between. And it does lead to holes in socks and blisters on affected parts. Nasty!  Then there are the issues of people with too delicate an ankle that it does not fill the back of the shoe adequately. Hence, the gap and the slippage.  Many have sworn by various sophisticated brands of socks (Smartwool, Thorlo, Keen, Bridgedale, to name a few). Pricey, they say, but worth the peace of mind with happy feet. (Remember the tyranny of the little pebble in your shoe?)

As for me, I’ve found a little respite recently. The weather is starting to warm up. So, I’m putting away my thick socks. I found these:

They're called Toe Covers! I don't know why. I rather think they're front foot covers but maybe that's too hard to say or print on labels.  Photo courtesy of thedancewearshoppe.com

They’re called Toe Covers! I don’t know why. I rather think they’re front foot covers but maybe that’s too hard to say or print on labels. Photo courtesy of thedancewearshoppe.com

I found them in most big department stores like Nordstrom. They serve their purpose well enough. Or, I can always do this:

Go sockless like Dwayne Wade! photo courtesy of thedailyup.com

Go sockless like Dwayne Wade! photo courtesy of thedailyup.com

But then, I’d need Kickstarter’s Sole Socks. They’re odor eating insoles that can be rewashed!

Or, I can go around town like Harrison Ford below, playing football in his socks on the tarmac of the Santa Monica Airport sometime in January 2014.

Harrison Ford playing football in his socks on the tarmac of the Santa Monica Airport, January 2014, photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Harrison Ford playing football in his socks on the tarmac of the Santa Monica Airport, January 2014, photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

I think not. I’d be going through a lot of socks.

I think I’ll stick to my toe covers and enjoy the warming weather with my spiffy shoes!

P.S. Next time, maybe I’ll solve the mystery of why some shoes squeak. I don’t think the answer lies necessarily in their testimony…

 

 

Posted in Barefoot Shoes, Footwear, Jambu, Postaweek, Shoes eating socks, Walking Shoes, Zappos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To My Nieces On Their Graduation

Ronna and Mara Childhood Photo, photo Courtesy of Mara Yee's Facebook Photo Collection

Ronna and Mara Childhood Photo, photo Courtesy of Mara Yee’s Facebook Photo Collection

Dear Ronna and Mara:

This period marks such a milestone to you and your family, with a high school graduation and a college graduation in the same year. For us parents, it is a time for quiet gratification that we have seen you through this far in your young lives. We look back through the years from the day we first witnessed you opening your eyes and through the milestones you achieved.

We are filled with aspirations for your success, and more importantly, your sense of fulfillment and happiness. At the same time, there is a dread in our hearts that you will take your leave one day, as you should, in order to carve out your own destiny. You are doves we need to set free so you can soar. The world is yours to discover and conquer.

Mara and Ronna Childhood Photo, Photo Courtesy of Mara Yee's Facebook Photo Collection

Mara and Ronna Childhood Photo, Photo Courtesy of Mara Yee’s Facebook Photo Collection

You know deep in your hearts we are and will always be here when you need us. No longer are we your “managers and coaches.” We will transition to be mere consultants, albeit loving ones. We are your sounding board. We will cheer you on. Our home will always be your refuge when you need some respite. Here you can always come to lick your wounds when you fall. And we will help you pick yourself up again so you can go out there to duke it out with the world, mano a mano.

We know that you will experience love, loss, confusion, and even failure. They are life’s greatest teachers. We cannot spare you of them. They are inevitable and even necessary. We parents know that it would only be a tremendous disservice to you if we shielded you from life’s ugly cohorts from hereon. It would mean depriving you of the many exquisite pleasures you will experience surmounting each challenge that dares cross your path.

Ronna and Mara, more recent photo, Hoto Courtesy of Mara Yee's Facebook Photo Collection

Ronna and Mara, more recent photo, Photo Courtesy of Mara Yee’s Facebook Photo Collection

Through your journey, you will meet successful people who you would admire and even choose to emulate. You will see that they have their own trials. They will tell you that it is these challenges, some losses, and failures that have grounded them and helped them hone in their skills so they can volley with better ammunition to their wins.

We hope you will not give up easily. Not when things don’t seem to be going as you would like. Not when you encounter rigid walls and tall mountains. Not when you are told you do not measure up. We hope all these would only strengthen your resolve to do better, to be better. We want you not to forget that just the possibility of a peak into enlightenment, fulfillment, and achievement is enough to let life in.

Ronna's High School Graduation, Photo Courtesy of Pinky Yee's Facebook photos.

Ronna’s High School Graduation, Photo Courtesy of Pinky Yee’s Facebook photos.

Graduation is the beginning of the rest of your life they said. Education is a journey, not an end point. But education is no longer limited to a classroom with four walls. The world is a classroom. We are all perpetually learning.

Mara at one of her ballet performances. Photo courtesy  o Mara Yee Facebook Phoo collection.

Mara at one of her ballet performances in 1996. Photo courtesy of Mara Yee Facebook Photo collection.

Posted in Celebration, Family, graduation, Letting Go, Life Stages, Parenting, Parents, Postaweek | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Is The Right Time To Be A Parent?

Mother and daughter quality time, running around our little downtown. photo credit (C) Likeitiz

Mother and daughter quality time, running around our little downtown. photo credit (C) Likeitiz

I chanced upon a post on the Stanford Alumni Daily Digest a few weeks ago by Vicky Keston.  She called attention to a recent Huff Post article by Stacie Krajchir, founder of The See and Sprout Project, an international creative collective.  In the article, Stacie talks about her experience as a forty-something mom.  She takes us through the various challenges of childbearing at this age.  She laments her lost freedom and flexibility. After all, she’s still at the everything-revolves-around-the-child stage.  Three year olds have their own milestones to achieve. Think “horrible threes” besting the “terrible twos.”  Miss out on the afternoon nap and you have before you the Loch Ness monster incarnated! We have to be there to make sure they do achieve their milestones, and in the right way, of course. We also want to be there to applaud, to pat on the back (ourselves or the child? Both?), to smug-smile satisfactorily, then on to the next stage.

After reading the article, I found Stacie, to say the least, less than happy, if not a little bitter at having been cheated of her happily every after. Lots of regrets: Not having done it sooner, not having the young body to incubate the fetus, not taking the option to freeze her eggs or even choosing to be childless by choice. Even future regrets: the possibility that her son would one day be alone when she and her husband are gone or that they may never see him marry.  Caveat: She did say, she was speaking for herself and she admitted she did not really think about the details of how her life would be after the baby came.

I had my one and only child, a daughter, in my thirties.  I was on my third year of residency then. My husband and I had discussed the matter a lot. We decided after six years of marriage, in he middle of  training to be doctors, and traveling together, we were ready for parenthood.  It was a tough juggle.  I went back to work after three months. I wanted to graduate the same time as my peers.  Until she was five months old, I would breastfeed her once through the night and in the morning, pump while at work, and then breastfeed her when I got home.  Between being on-call and running to emergencies, my milk slowly but surely dried up.  I accepted that formula would have to take center stage, while we introduced various foods to her.

Photo Courtesy of The New Yorker article "Parents of a Certain Age," by Lisa Miller, September 25, 2011.

Photo Courtesy of The New Yorker article “Parents of a Certain Age,” by Lisa Miller, September 25, 2011.

I decided to go into Consulting Pediatrics after completing my training. Although, I spent more time in Neonatology, I found that I really enjoyed more interaction with my patients and their parents. Adolescents also provided much diversion and enjoyment.  After two years into practice, I had a population of complex cases on the one hand (preemies with multiple issues, children with congenital malformations, syndromes, the hearts, the kidneys, the neuros, etc.) and on the other, I had a whole group of normal-born children from professional parents (fellow MDs, lawyers, dentists, etc.) and from older parents.  The oldest first time mother I cared for was 43 going 44. (They’re much older now, by the way!) She was a former CFO in a Toronto financial powerhouse.  Looking back, I think I took care of her more than the baby, who could not be any more normal than they came.  I would have obstetricians call me to refer the families. “Please take them. Lovely couple. Very nervous. Need their hands held by someone who’ll be patient and informative.”  And so on and so forth.  I answered their calls, repeated sage words, reassured them this is all normal and no, their child will not stop loving them if they don’t give in to a tantrum.

Contrast this to the youngest parent I met. While I was doing my fellowship, we received a premature baby born from a new mother who was twelve years old.  She came two days later with her mother, who was not even thirty!  The father of the child was seventeen. Yes, sigh!

Let’s go back to Vicky Keston.  She called attention to the article and posted her own take on parenting in her forties.  In contrast to Stacie, she’s decidedly happy, with two young-uns.  And it looks like she has embraced this era of her life.  She has a company called Gooseling Inc., composed of moms who create video games that teach children social and life skills.  (I guess if you can’t beat them, joint them, hun? But in your own terms, of course!).  This mom, is for the most part, enjoying this new adventure.  She went into it with eyes wide open: the hard work (nothing could match this except maybe running an entire country like ours!), the long hours, the loss of private time (you’re only on your own when you’re taking a shower but you might still hear them calling out to you from outside…), the struggles, the new ways of communication and increased mindfulness, less frequent adult conversations, and schedules around meal and nap times, or soccer/swim practice.

Pippa Savage, 44, with her four-month old daughter, Francesca; Photo Courtesy of The Telegraph, March 20, 2009

Pippa Savage, 44, with her four-month old daughter, Francesca; Photo Courtesy of The Telegraph, March 20, 2009

I have the same message for both Stacy and Vicky:  This is all temporary. You might be having a hard time now because your children are so young. They want and need your time and attention 24/7.  You find yourself stealing away for a haircut or lunch with a pal or even dinner out with your significant other where they have cloth napkins and drinks come without straws. But this is all temporary. By the time you’re in your fifties, they’ll be in middle school and then on to high school.  They will be less attached to you at your hip. You might even miss it.

I’m currently in my fifties. I still have the energy for the ball games, the soccer practice, the debate clubs and science projects.  But my nest is now empty. My hubby and I are together often. We travel. We meet with friends. We go on long hikes with our dog. We’ve gone full circle at this stage of our lives. (I’m ready for the next circle!) So, you won’t see the empty nest until you’re nearing your sixties. (I hope you’ll be healthy and active as ever!) So what? It’ll just be as much fun!

In your forties, you’re more patient and understanding. You’re less likely to sweat the small stuff.  You’re less likely to raise a “teacup” or a “crispy.” (I need another blog post for these, huh!). 

As for when the right time is to be a parent?  I can’t support a twelve-year-old or any teen getting pregnant.  Too soon. Too young.  I know people who married and started their families in their twenties, even early thirties.  I met some of these women whose marriages ended in divorce. They initiated it.  They admitted that they did not get enough of the freedom singles enjoy.  They felt they were deprived. They wanted to advance their careers, cultivate friendships and alliances, travel, explore new interests.  They could not do this with a spouse and/or children in tow.  You might say that this group is doing it backwards compared to the forty-somethings. Maybe.

Nicole Kidman arived in Sydney, Australia, with her baby, Sunday Rose, April 13, 2009; Photo Courtesy of news.com.au

Forty-something mom, Nicole Kidman arrived in Sydney, Australia, with her baby, Sunday Rose, April 13, 2009; Photo Courtesy of news.com.au

There is no one right time or one right state for anyone to be a parent. It all boils down to what it is you want, how badly do you want it, knowing what’s at stake, being honest with yourself and what you are able to give up, at least temporarily.  For almost two decades, the center of your universe will not be around you, your comfort, your time, your space. And the part about being sleep-deprived, exhausted, sometimes disoriented?  That’s not the exclusive purview of forty-something parents. Unless you live in a Downton Abbey world, your and/or your spouse/partner, are it!  The stages of picking up toys, changing diapers, cleaning up spit, these will all pass. So will the adolescent risk-taking stages.  They all become rich memories to recall when the house (and your life) is quiet and all yours again.

Addendum: I came across an article that here in our country, a young adult has five milestones to achieve:

  1. Graduating from College
  2. Getting a job
  3. Getting married
  4. Buying a house
  5. Having a baby

It used to be that the order of these milestones was almost uncompromising.  Most people finished all five by the time they were thirty.  Nowadays, not only is the order of these milestones all over the place, some people take their whole lives to get them. Some people even elect not to complete the five.  And, it’s all right.

Posted in Family, Kids, middle years, Motherhood, Older Mothers, Older Pregnancy, Parenting, Parents, Teenage Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments