The Age Thing

I am not sure how the age thing works.

When I was little my cousins were SO old…now we are the same age. My kids are the oldest of their cousins, the first to hit all milestones…now the “little ones” are taller, hairier, and their voices as deep or deeper, they are equals.

My cousins were teenagers in the 70s…the decade of everything awesome. Long wild hair (on both sexes), puka beads, cut off denim shorts, macrame handbags…drinking cans of beer while eating my mom’s chocolate chip cookies. Walking into the house to chat with anyone who was around, stories of college shenanigans, job interviews, girlfriends, and cars, such glamorous lives. Now, they are people with jobs and mortgages…I have a job, I have a mortgage. We are not glamours or cool, we are the same.

My brother was always my baby brother, only 4 years younger but I kind of helped raise him. On his birthday, I was the assistant. I ran games, filled goodie bags and learned the art of hosting a party from the master…my mom. When my parents played tennis, I was his babysitter They hit the ball, we played cars or Fisher-Price peoples…and I was the boss. When we no longer wanted to join my parents for weekends at Fire Island, I was the “adult” of the house, from 4pm Friday to 6pm Sunday, one pizza and tickets for the club snack bar kept us fed, and my fear of losing the privilege of staying home kept us alive. We covered up any mishaps together and we established a life-long bond. Now…miraculously, he is often “older” than me, I lean on him, he is the voice of reason.

Since living with my mom, not a week goes by without the following words leaving my mouth: “Mom, I am 54 years old, I got this.” Somehow I have become less capable now…than I was at 12. I am back to being her child, and as a mom, it makes perfect sense. My babies are completely formed humans, but they will always be my babies…no matter how spectacular they are, no matter how old they are. My babies.

I don’t really care how old I am, I just assume I am the same age as the people I am with. I might make a Marcia Marcia Marcia or or Mom always said, don’t play ball in the house reference…which will be met with silence…crickets. My pop culture quips mean nothing. The Brady Who? Gilligan’s What? Oh yeah, I am 20 years older than the company I am in. Oh. My. Gosh. I could easily be your mother! Then there are times I gush over the wedding album of a friend, married in the early 1970s…groovy maxi dresses from Macy’s bridal section, yellow daisies galore, long flowing hair and gloriously painted cat eyes, wedding venue decor featuring ivy climbing lattice fences. I marvel what a trendsetter she was…only to realize she was not being quirky, vintage, or hip…she was just doing what was done at the time. My mauve Laura Ashley 90s bridesmaids dresses were her high waisted maxis, her 70s fashion trends outstyling mine by about a million percent. How could she have gotten married when I was 6 since we are currently the same age. Magic.

Age…a time machine. One minute we are older and wiser, the next we are the same age, the next our babies are taking care of us. That…is just so very cool.

Assisting at my brother’s birthday party. 4 years is a lot when you are 13.

Published by Kat

A mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a graphic designer. I am flawed... but I try.

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