Saturday, March 6, 2010

Over the Hill

I was just thinking earlier this week about doing a blog about the meaning of "Over the Hill" and events today really pushed that to the front of my mind. Generally the term is used to tease people who hit middle-age milestone birthdays - usually 40 and 50, sometimes 30. I always thought it meant the tough part is over, you've climbed the hill, or you're getting close to the end of life, there's not much left. But now that I'm 35 and married with kids, I think it has more to do with time. It's like your time is a boulder rolling down the hill going faster and faster. I noticed it with our baby this week. My dad asked if it was time to start her on cereal. My immediate response was, oh, no, not yet. Then I realized, she'll be 4 months old on Friday. Then I couldn't remember if I started our toddler on cereal at 4 months or 6 months? It was only 2 1/2 years ago, you'd think I could remember. It seems like it hasn't been that long, but that's time spinning by on me.

This morning my friend called and told me her mom's husband had a heart attack during a 5K. He runs all the time, but thankfully it happened in the middle of a race and he collapsed in front of a paramedic. He's had stents put in and they're doing ice therapy and he's intubated. Then this afternoon, Dad called and said my older half-sister had a mild heart attack. It turns out they aren't sure that's what happened, but she does have some blockage. They ran some tests and will know more tomorrow. Though she's 14 years older than me, she's still my sister, and to think she's of an age to be concerned about heart attacks is scary. But then I remembered my friend saying the other day that heart disease is the number one killer of women between the ages of 40-50. Probably because we don't see it coming. We're over the hill and time's going by faster than we realize. And we're not "old" yet. I was just talking to another friend about it today. It seems impossible that her daughter will be 16 this week. And that it's been almost 20 years since I dated my high school boyfriend who I had lunch with on Wednesday after years of not being in touch. I told her how when he first contacted me, my heart fluttered, and I felt like I was 17 again. And then I felt silly - as I said I'm 35 and married with kids. But I feel like I'm 17 a lot of the time. Self-conscious and insecure - more like a kid than an "adult".

I think having kids has made me feel both more mature and younger. On the one hand, I hear myself saying things my parents said, or lamenting things our toddler does like they did, like her playing with Chapstick and getting 20 layers of it on her face. But I also am reminded about the wonder of life and the world when she asks questions and points out sights and sounds that slows me down to take it all in. And when she does silly things that remind me of my younger sister. Like today when she got a tiny scratch on her thigh. She was being quite melodramatic about it which was odd because she usually shakes it off. But she was having a moment like me when I was a kid - I always screamed bloody murder first, and figured out if I was truly injured later. But she was milking it like my sister would. First she wanted a band-aid. Then she wanted to be carried around because her leg wouldn't work. Except when she wanted to go to the kitchen to get jelly beans. Suddenly it was miraculously better. But only for that long. Then she was holding her thigh with her hand, and hobbling around like she was seriously injured and saying, "Ooh, ooh."I finally asked if her leg hurt because I was concerned that she was really in pain and she said no. Crazy kid!

Her new answer to scheduling conflicts with naptime is to say she can just sleep in the car. Like if I need to go somewhere and she wants to go with me, and I tell her she can't because she needs to go down for a nap while I'm gone, she says, "That's ok; I can just sleep in the car."

Potty training is going really well! Trying not to get my hopes up because I hear there are lots of setbacks, but she didn't have an accident at all today. She's started telling me when she has to poop that it's going to be big and stinky, and I should leave. Lovely. She pooped in the potty chair at my parents' house yesterday, and it was large and greenish and soft. She said in a growly voice, "That's a MONSTER poop!" Hilarious! And we've come full circle with the feeling old and young at the same time to be discussing poop on a regular basis, but also still finding it funny.

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