Things That Change

I guess I won't be Bendability for much longer. Northportability just doesn't have the same ring to it. Maybe it's appropriate since I am returning, like a boomerang, to the land from which I hailed, to become simply Predictability again. Less and less this predictable ness of mine is the reliable inconsistency that I have been known for. Now maybe I really am predictable. Maybe I go to the same place and do the same thing and respond the same way every time. In some ways it's sad to think that I have settled down into some form of regularity, as wanton as that form is. But maybe that's just part of growing up, something I said that I would never do. I am turning 36 soon. That is almost 40. It's old. Older than I have ever been, or really ever hoped to be. It's one of those ages that just SOUNDS old. Like 55. And 27. And 83. I guess there's no fighting it. I will be 36 whether I like it or not. I will be a grown up. And I will be predictable. Sad day. My one consolation is the steadfast belief that "old" is nothing more than a state of mind. An attitude. A choice. As is being "a grown up". I have turned the corner in my life where it has become more work to choose to remain young than it is to act like a grown up. I have to actually remind myself, and some times even coerce myself, into skipping to the bus stop with Aspen. It doesn't just happen spontaneously most days anymore. I have to actually put thought into an outfit that would make my mother cringe. It doesn't come naturally as I "mature". Ice cream doesn't sound good for breakfast these days. Sometimes I even crave vegetable juice. It's as though my body has resigned itself to imminent death and I am just preparing my corporal being for interment into the ground. Gaining weight has less to do with attracting wolf whistles and more to do with fitting into a casket that pallbearers can actually carry. Ok, now I am just getting morbid. Something tells me that I am LONG overdue for a night of line dancing or karaoke and dressing inappropriately for my age. Maybe even a ride on the mechanical bull. Wait - I just did that a couple of weeks ago! See, the memory loss that my age has inflicted upon me is waging war against my anti-maturity tactics!! I am gonna have to up my Peter Pan game as the years go by. My coasting days are over.

My kids are getting so old that I can hardly even look to them for the ideals of perpetual youth. Except Aspen. She will never age. This morning, in a deep philosophical discussion about relationships that end because of things like money or being Jewish (had to set that one straight) or disagreements about life values, she was asking if she would get to visit Josh if ever we split up. For a kid like Aspen, I think that the idea of a forever mom and dad scenario is still a little beyond her imagination, which is sort of heartbreaking. Give us a few years, babe. She was concerned that she would not have visitation rights since Josh is technically a step-dad, and she only gets to visit her "real" dad, but not Lee, who was "like when you go to some stairs and almost step up, but don't, dad". So she was a little fuzzy on what happens when an already-step dad goes away, verses an almost-step dad. Boy I have done some damage. God help me if my kids can't forgive me. Halle and Kizzie have very adult perspectives on life by now. They make always-rational choices and have well-rounded and deeply rooted opinions about all life matters. They have concerns that are far reaching with implications of life and death. Don't all high schoolers? I don't remember being so serious at their age. I guess I remember FEELING serious at their age. Maybe the distinction between feeling and being is what defines maturity. In that case, I am not old at all. I have no idea what I AM but I am quite clear on how I FEEL. That's one thing that hasn't changed since high school. That and my toes. Every other particle of my body is different than it was 20 years ago - much to my husband's chagrin - but my toes are the same. not the toe joints - those are all messed up from irish dance and being stomped on in mosh pits, but the toes themselves look just like they did at 16. Sometimes when I am feeling particularly old, I look at my toes. Or I get a pedicure. It's like babying and protecting the one remnant of my youth to get a pedicure. Josh can't understand the importance - although if it was my 16 year old flat belly or firm thighs I was nurturing I am sure he would gladly pay $30 a week to pamper them. If only my youthful toes would make him so happy.

All this talk of aging makes me a little melancholy. I think I need to go find something slightly ridiculous for my age to wear today and eat crunchies for lunch. Then maybe I need to get a pedicure. Hey - it's my birthday month.

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