Tag: son

What Makes a Woman Old?

I had a landmark birthday recently. And I totally expected to feel old. Which made me start to wonder: what does that even mean?

Old is a state of mind they say.

You’re only as old as you feel.

Don’t think of age as a number.

You’ve heard all the platitudes and sayings. But they are only words.

Wrong Thinking

I like Mark Twain. He had killer wit.

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And in this case, I totally agree with him. Age, like enduring the pain in boot camp, is all about mind over matter.

As my birthday neared, I kept dreading the big five-zero.

But why?

Would I really be decrepit on my birthday when I was totally able-bodied the day before it?

In fact, since I was 23 and got my first gray hair (I thank my firstborn for this), I’ve had an interesting idea about age and getting old.

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Speaking of Which

While we’re on the subject of my firstborn, today is his birthday.

That’s right. Twenty-six years ago a cute little boy interrupted all the plans that went before him.

Because having kids does more than reshape your figure. And your finances. And your sleep schedule.

Suddenly the young couple becomes a young family. And family trumps all other things.

It’s hard to claim the age of 39 (which I found to be a perfect point in my life) when you’re standing beside a tall, handsome nearly-30-year-old to whom you gave birth.

Uh, yeah. I was still in middle school when I had him.

Not. (And even the thought of that is more terrifying than watching a scary movie marathon.)

My Body Has Other Ideas

The problem with this mind over matter thinking? Sometimes a body refuses to cooperate.

I’m not talking about those phantom aches and pains.

Imagine: You sit on the examining table and glance over at the ultrasound screen. Your name and date of birth are in bright characters at the top.

A neon sign blares “AGE: 50”

This test is in preparation for your first ever surgery the next week.

“Wow. You made it fifty years without ever needing anesthesia.” I didn’t imagine the hint of awe in the admission nurse’s voice.

Could someone stop reminding me of my age?

And my body—which refuses to act like the 30-year-old vessel I imagine– should be the engine of that train.

Let me say that when you’re recovering from a “minor procedure” you feel every second of your actual age. No matter what you claim, the 50-year-old cells don’t repair things at the rapid rate of 30-year-old ones.

Now back to the question posed in the title of this post. A woman is as old as the calendar says minus a decade or two if she’s taken care of her body.

Most people don’t look closely at the crow’s feet around my eyes or the brown spots on my jaw. They see the wide, white smile and twinkling eyes.

Those are the characteristics of someone whose age isn’t on her mind. She’s too busy living life to worry about some arbitrary number.

Ladies, the only thing that can make a woman old is her declaration that she is old.

What do you think makes a woman (or a man) old?

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Happy Birthday to my Baby!

Twenty-three years ago yesterday at a few moments after midnight, my he-will-forever-be-my-baby son entered this world.

Yesterday, we celebrated that occasion. It was a huge family dinner. My four, their wives and the family of my baby’s wife.

My baby has a wife?

I know. Wasn’t it just yesterday he arrived in the world?

So tiny. This is hours after he made his grand appearance in 1993
So tiny. This is hours after he made his grand appearance in 1993

Right. Yesterday…plus twenty-three YEARS.

But I remember how happy he was as a baby. He made the cutest gurgling noises. Like he was singing to himself.

We called this one the Under the Table Jig
We called this one the Under the Table Jig

And he seemed almost indestructible: falling off decks and through windows. But he didn’t always escape unscathed.

His enthusiasm for living rubbed off on all of us.

A0025

It didn’t surprise me when he decided to take to the stage. People at church  had been saying he was going to be a preacher for years.

Stage debut as a Keystone Cop in Aladdin
Stage debut as a Keystone Cop in Aladdin

He was always a natural ham. Why not add makeup and bright lights?

Like all actors, he had girls hanging off him
Like all actors, he had girls hanging off him

How did he get from a playschool graduation to this in three blinks of my eyes?

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As an adult, he headed off to college. And graduated from that before I’d begun to fathom how he would deal with those student loans.

My two sons...and the daughters they so thoughtfully brought me
My two sons…and the daughters they so thoughtfully brought me

And now, he’s married. He and his wife have their own little love nest. And student loans.

But life isn’t about loans, it’s about love and living each moment with joy.

And this baby boy of mine has been doing that second part well for a lifetime. What’s not to love?

If you know him, how about commenting with a favorite memory?

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Forget Scrapbooking the Wedding- It’s Here!

Scrapbook your family’s memories. It’s a perfect way to re-live those moments while preparing a product you can share with others.

And I’ve been scrapbooking my youngest son’s wedding. For most of 2015 (although, I have to be honest, I really slacked off early in the year).

Now, it’s time to put the colored paper and thematic stickers away.

It’s time to live the day.

Yes, the wedding is nearly here. I will officially gain my second daughter.

And the amount of photographs that need to be cropped and glued will increase exponentially. (They’re not expecting this thing to be complete in 2016, are they?)

All the secrecy about what the dress looks like will finally end. And the joy of married life is about to begin.

The Schedule of Events

December 31st

Mother of the Groom gets her hair cut and colored (It’s about time!)

All ducks are in a row for the rehearsal, photographer and honeymoon

January 1st

  • 11AM – Rehearsal lunch at the Cultural Center (location of the reception)
  • Followed by: decorating for the reception
  • Followed by: the actual Wedding Rehearsal at the church
  • Driving over an hour home in hopes of getting restful sleep in my own bed

January 2nd

  • Early- Get up and don the lovely Mother of the Groom dress that’s been waiting in my closet for nearly a year
  • 8AM – leave for Newberg
  • 9AM – Arrive at church
  • 10AM – Pictures begin
  • 1PM – Wedding ceremony (time to smear my mascara with tears)
  • Followed by the reception at the Cultural Center
  • All afternoon – sharing laughter with well-wishers
  • 5PM – Clean up the reception hall
  • Followed by: Who’s taking care of all these gifts?
  • Followed by: Hugs and goodbyes
  • Later – arrive home and collapse into bed

Did I mention that I’m going on vacation in a week?

It’s a new tradition. The post-wedding honeymoon for parents of the bride or groom.

Scrapbooking a Wedding – Part 2 – The Engagement

In the wake of one whirlwind wedding, the memorabilia for another waxed and waned. Without an engagement, there would be no wedding. Right?

Engagements are epic. Entire movies have been plotted around popping the question.

Why was it so difficult to put this spread of pages together?

Call me creatively stifled. Or dumbfounded by the over-abundance of information.

The Plan

Never let it be said that my youngest son doesn’t have a plan.

It may look like haphazard meandering. Especially if you’ve seen how he keeps his clean clothes *frowns*

He had everything set up. Reservations at the restaurant he wanted, buddies lined up to set the proposal site in order.

Even video and photo equipment.

So – he was early for the reservations. Better than late though.

The dinner was excellent. The dessert a delicious “enjoy me later” delicacy from The Cheesecake Factory.

Flower petals were strewn with obvious care in the private glen on campus.

Perfect.

The Photos

Darkness curtained this romantic setting. And someone didn’t have a flash. Or something to add light for the video.

Pictures were taken. Filming progressed.

In the end, the Dark Side prevailed.

The only remaining proof lay in the minds of those in attendance.

It’s pretty hard to use that for scrapbook images.

And then there were two

The all-important question was posed. The lovely girl said, “Yes.”

So they are engaged.

Both of them blogged their side of the story. And posted pictures taken with their camera phones at the restaurant. (One of those moments when a phone that is also a camera is a wonderful thing.)

Those images and recollections are all the fodder I had to make a memorable page layout in their keepsake book.

Thankfully, the weather turned wet. The man worked late.

Messing up the table with all my paper paraphernalia seemed like a profitable use of time.

And the project continues. Now, my creative future daughter is planning on making 200 wedding invitations.

Talk about some scraps for the book…

Being Right Means being Able to apologize

Yeah, I’ve had this same conversation

A few weeks ago, I posted about maintaining family traditions around the holidays. I didn’t say there was no room for change, but I did mention conversations held with my son.

He responded to the post (which you can read here) by saying he felt he had been misrepresented. I made him look bad.

My niece, who had been privy to one such conversation about traditions, said I reported things as they actually happened. If he felt the truth made him look bad, then my son should consider that a mirror and change accordingly.

Realize these are my summations and interpretations of the postings. They can be seen on Facebook, if you want to read them in black and white.

I want to apologize for any misrepresentation of my son. He is a great, opinionated man with strong convictions. I don’t want him to change. I admire the man he has become.

However, as a man, he does seem to possess the flaw that many of the male persuasion fall prey to: the inability to admit it when they’re wrong.

I’m not saying women don’t fall into this trap. Some do. Not me. I’m so excited when I’m right that it paints a smile on my face for the entire day. I capitulate when I’m wrong (at least I vocally admit my error).

After all, arguing rarely changes anything. It makes people mad and causes tension. I’ll pass, thank you very much.

I didn’t mean to make my son look bad, so for that I apologize. The fact that he commented on the post at all means he understands the truth of the matter. I’ll accept that as his “I was wrong” admission.

We have to take these small victories where we find them.

Have you ever apologized when you were in the right? I’d love to commiserate with you about this seeming contradiction in the realm of truth and justice.