It’s happening. The moment in my life that I have been dreading is finally here. In 5 weeks I will turn 35, the age that I thought my mom was for the entirety of my childhood and my own child needs to know about puberty. These two major milestones were never meant to intersect and I’m handling it about as well as Miley Cyrus handled growing up in the spotlight. Except I don’t own a foam finger. Next month I will be forced to tell people that I am in my mid-thirties and I have become the poster elder for what not to do or say around our house. Here is a real life text from my 11 year old that was sent to me last week after I texted her what I thought to be a very supportive and somewhat humorous text.
“That is such an old person word, Mother!!!”
I used the word numbskull but that is beside the point. I’m old and dependable and unable to to text cool things. I have lost the ability to wear jeans without a muffin top and headbands have officially been banned for me regardless of how desperately I need one to grow out my pixie cut. Why do we call it the circle of life? I am voting for the circle of desperation and unending embarrassment. For everyone involved. While I have tackled the puberty issue along with the always inspiring menstruation conversation, I feel that I may have forgotten something and that it will haunt me at her sweet 16 party. In five years!!! Guess what else we celebrate in 5 years? The fact that I won’t be able to say I’m sassy and in my thirties, but instead I can break out that ‘Saggy and 40’ sweatshirt I have been storing in my closet.
Why isn’t there a pamphlet for me that explains my changing body and what I can expect during this “time of hormonal changes”? I want my mom to sit me down and have an awkward conversation about my lady parts falling out and my imminent need to schedule a mammogram. There is no video for me to sit through and laugh at with my other thirty something friends about the necessity of having 15 sets of reading glasses or how my spouse will start growing ear hair that will rival the hair on his head. I feel unprepared to get any older and even more unprepared to watch my daughter become a woman. I feel 25 inside and then I look in the mirror and realize my insides are playing a really nasty trick on my exterior. My hair is gray, there are wrinkles around my eyes and I can’t jump on a trampoline without peeing myself. That’s the reality of old that no one has made a pamphlet for.
There was a young lady (old person term for a teenage girl) at the grocery store bagging my assortment of leafy greens who looked like she should be sitting in a junior high debate class. My ability to judge age is about as on target as my ability to accept my own. I am not sure when exactly it happened, but I am the ‘old lady’ who fawns over children at funerals and says awful things like “I can’t believe how big you are. When I saw you last, you were this tall.” I then bend over to hold my age spotted hand to my knee, simultaneously throwing out my back.
We are two women on paths of female discovery. While my daughter navigates breast buds and avoiding B.O., I am shopping for girdles (now called shapewear, so you feel farther away from the ripe old age of 80) in order to keep my nipples from dragging on the floor when I get out of bed. She will discover douche bag
boyfriends and the perfect tampon for her body and I will discover (hopefully) the joy of aging. I am not there yet. Fear grips me every time I put night cream around my eyes and I’m sure it grips my daughter as she patiently waits for Aunt Flo to make her stage debut. She begs me to tell her exactly when it will happen and I beg my mom to tell me how I will survive getting old.
There is no answer big enough for either question. So we wait, both of us changing, until the day she packs up her beater car with everything she owns and begins a life without me. Then I will sit in my rocking chair, knitting a scarf that no one will ever wear and wondering how I made it here. Just kidding…I’ll be drinking wine and still attempting to send humorous text messages to my kids. Girdle and all.
Mandy Brasher has been married to her partner in crime for thirteen years and together they have two kids. She graduated from The Utah College of Massage Therapy and spent two years studying writing at Utah State University. She is currently working with her husband at their online apparel business, blogging daily and writing a book. Mandy loves to travel, cook, do yoga and read. Follow her sass mouth and unexpected adventures.