I wake up in the middle of the night with a single thought.
I’m not sure how I’ve never done the math in my head before, or why this realization is hovering over me like a little black rain cloud on this particular night, but there it is.
I will be 50 years old when Kara graduates high school.
When I have this thought, and really consider it, the air is completely sucked out of my body. How is that possible? I count up the years again in my mind.
It isn’t that I view 50 as over-the-hill. I know plenty of women over 50 who are beautiful and vivacious, I just can’t see myself as one of them right now. Honestly, the thought that I will be 50 when Kara is only 18 absolutely terrifies me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about age and my own mortality lately. I feel as if I’ve aged more this year than in the past 5 years combined, and I am seeing changes that feel like they came overnight.
I feel better mentally and emotionally that I’ve ever felt in my life, and I attribute all of that to age, experience, and maturity. I like where I am. I feel grounded and happy, but it still hurts more than a little to look in the mirror and see one day that the texture of my skin is changing.
Before I had children, I was anchorless. I lived, laughed, loved, and thought little about getting older. It didn’t matter.
I feel like when I gave birth to my babies, my ties to this world were strengthened by a million. I am anchored to my life, this earth, and to them. I don’t ever want to get old, and I don’t ever want to die, because I don’t ever want to be separated from them.
Yes, I guess I’m having separation anxiety about death — something I can’t control, and something I can only HOPE happens later instead of sooner.
Life is so uncertain. I know. I do.
I am getting accustomed to the changes I see in the mirror, and trying to wrap my head around the idea of being older, but there is a little girl inside me that just wants to scream in defiance.
Do you consider your own mortality more since becoming a parent?