See the wonderful article "Baby Come Back" from Wilton Magazine
Mother Nature is an Indian giver
Mother Nature is an Indian giver. She gives you an amazing miracle in the form of the dearest, sweetest baby the world has ever seen. In the first instant of that little life, your heart opens wide and he/she crawls inside and takes up residence there. Minutes, hours, years go by. He/she thrums away in your heart, coloring your every move, every decision and every emotion. You get used to that thrumming, it becomes part of you. You watch all their firsts with love and pride-filled eyes. You don’t react with the terror that grips you when they take their first tumble; instead, you smile, bite down the reaction to lunge for them, and encourage them to get up and go on their way. And because they didn’t see the fear that was in your heart, they do just that; get up and go on their way. That’s only one of the many times you do that for them, but it pales in comparison to what is required when they go away to college.
As long as they are in the house, underfoot, you feel that their place in your heart is still fully occupied by them. And so you don’t think twice as you enthusiastically jump in the car and drive hundreds of miles to walk campus after campus helping them find the right school. You hold your reaction inside, size them up out of the corner of your eye and hope that on the long drive home they might give you an inkling as to their reactions. All the while, they are still with you. They still need you to buy milk, help them sort out a problem with a teacher, and sometimes they might even just want to watch a movie with you.
And then, suddenly, the colleges are chosen, the acceptance letters come in and before you know it you’re writing out the check that assures their admittance into the college of their choice. You shop for clothes. You buy extra long linens from the college website to fit the dorm room beds, and you imagine the proud day when you’ll drive them up to school to get settled in their new life. And this is when Mother Nature plays her dirty trick.
Being the brave mother you are, you wave goodbye, not looking back and drive home, to a place you don’t recognize. All the same things are in the living room but there’s a quiet you’ve never experienced before. You and the family dog stand and stare at the now clean room that until a few days ago was a smelly sty so dense with teenage detritus that you couldn’t even get in it. And you remember him/her sitting in the midst of it happily ensconced in the cacophony of video game monsters being killed, rock music and IM dings from the computer.
This new quiet is positively deafening.
Dear old Mother Nature doesn’t prepare you for the cold, harsh emptiness of the “empty nest”. He/she is still thrumming away in your heart but there’s nothing for you to do. You try and turn your mind away from them, but thoughts of them keep creeping back in. Will they ever remember to brush their teeth, do their laundry or even at least once, change those extra long sheets? Mother Nature gives them to you and then takes them away. You spend their entire existence holding on to them for dear life and now, just like that, you’re supposed to let them go? It’s impossible. Yet, as you stand disoriented in the middle of your new/old home, it finally hits you; letting them go is probably the biggest act of love you’ll ever do for them. Now you just have to figure out how to quiet the thrumming in your heart.
Do you want the bad news or the good news first? Well you’re going to get the bad. Here are the things I hate about being 62. I can’t see shit, near or far, without my glasses. Despite the fact that I have a seven-times magnifying mirror, I still have to use my glasses to tweeze my eyebrows. After I put darkening powder on said eyebrows (because my eyebrows are black but thinning with age) I have to put on my glasses to see in the regular mirror how they look. I do all this, because I have a dreaded fear of being one of those old ladies who’s eyebrows are drawn an inch or two above where they really are and are also a color not found in nature. I also have a dreaded fear of having the under-eye line of my makeup be a few inches below my eye so that to a normal eye (something I haven’t had in 40 years) it looks like a black line floating on my upper cheek. I have another dreaded fear which I’m afraid to say has come true and that is that I have way too many bumper stickers on my cute, and personalized champagne silver with pumpkin leather seats and cream trim, Mini Cooper convertible.
Other things I hate about being 62. That I’m not 40. That I have aches and pains and random sundry itches. That I have a neuroma in my left foot. That I take so many supplements that I need the biggest Sunday-Saturday, white plastic pill holder they make in order to accommodate them all. That I take fish oil! That I get tired in the afternoon. That I wish I were 40. That I worry about death. That I have random, unexplained anxiety. That I don’t sleep as well as I used to. And last, but not least, that I’m 62!
Okay so what’s good about being 62? I love the wisdom that has come with 62 years of living and experience. I love that I’ve had four successful careers. That I don’t have to prove myself to ANYONE anymore. People think what I have to say is wise. What I have to say IS wise…it must be, just by virtue of the fact that I’ve lived this long. That I had my son late in life so even at this relic of an age I still have a teenager (at least until this summer when he turns 20 – Oy!). That I can afford his college education. That I have a pension from the Writers Guild. That, with the help of glasses and magnifying mirrors I can still put on my MAC makeup deftly and feel beautiful as a result. That I can afford an array of MAC makeup that makes my bathroom look like the display counter in one of their stores. That I’m proud of how I look compared to many of my high school friends who have all come flocking back into my life on Facebook. That I can figure out Facebook. That I can go longer and longer stretches without throwing something at the computer because it isn’t working the way I want it to. That I can use a computer. That if I exercise and eat right and with a little bit of luck, modern medicine can keep me alive for another 30 years or more. That I have made a marriage of 28 years work and be filled with more love than there was in the beginning. And that’s because I’ve come to fully understand the power of love and the uselessness of anger and control. That I can feel gratitude for every blessing my life has to offer. That I have so many blessings to be grateful for in the first place. Though I don’t remotely resemble Meryl Streep or Diane Keaton, I love that I have wonderful memories of a life that would make a brilliant Nancy Myers film. That I got the spiritual wakeup call, or as I like to call it “the memo” that I really am going to die and I’d better figure out how to live whatever moments I have left like I am for real, no kidding, in a Nancy Myers film. That I am awake and aware enough to joyously drink in and appreciate the beauty that surrounds me. That someone invented the IPod so I can listen to soul stirring music wherever I go. That I can live fully in the moment (a lot of the time at any rate) and experience the sensation of time expanding and my consciousness being altered so that I finally feel like there is a God. So I guess you could say, what I love most of all about being 62 is that I love life. I even love being 62.