Lately I’ve been feeling pretty old I’ve got an empty nest looming ever closer and kids who are practically adults. In our neighborhood, I’ll walk around and see the parents walking their preschoolers and toddlers and I realized that I’m one of the old neighbors now. When we first moved into this house, a college girl across the street would sometimes watch our cat and I remember thinking that it was funny how her mother talked about her as if she were a child, or, not a child, exactly, but her kid. I felt closer in age and mind-set to the teenager than to the mom. Now there are all these “young people”with their newborn babies and toddlers and I feel like, ‘Wasn’t I just there? How did that happen?”
Back when I was a teenager, I remember my Dad laughing at one point and saying, “I have t-shirts older than you!” and I am so living that truth right now. J has been cooking quite a bit lately, and she had been annoying me by putting the knives back in the knife block in the wrong order. The other day I carried the knife block and knives into the living room and sat down next to her on the couch, making her pause her TV show. “You know, for a decade before you were even born, I’ve been putting the knives into this block in a particular order. On the left hand side, it’s the big chef’s knife, then the serrated chef’s knife, then the bread knife, and then the slicing knife. I don’t have to think about which knife I’m grabbing because that is how it always is, every time. Please don’t spoil that for me.”
My eyes! Suddenly I have old-lady eyes. How did I miss that this would be a symptom of growing old? I mean, it’s clear that eventually my skin will be papery and there are commercials that imply that we ladies will all shrivel up like prunes. But somehow I had missed that my eyeballs would start to lose their optical juiciness. This the sort of old-lady loss that I did not anticipate, and it’s not so terrible, I guess, but what else is around the corner that I don’t know about? It’s like during that last week ofpregnancy with M and my pelvic bones started pulling apart and suddenly it hurt like crazy to try to walk at all. And I asked the midwife about it and she was like, “Oh, yeah, sometimes that happens.” And I was like, “Hello?? I have read a ton of pregnancy books and nobody mentioned that at all!” I mean, sure, I can link to that little informative post about it, but that’s because I could Google the symptoms. No one had said to me ahead of time “So, it might be a little rough for you if you move to a new city and have no friends and family and you’re in a hotel room with only basic cable and Little House on the Prairie is only on twice a day, so you might decide that the thing to maintain your sanity is to take really long walks in the lovely spring weather, but actually? You might not want to put all of your sanity eggs in the walking basket. Because it’s entirely possible that your pelvic bones will start to separate, and well, according to that website: ‘The most common symptoms are difficulty when walking and wrenching pain (as though your pelvis is tearing apart).'” [why yes; emphasis is added by me, because it’s a point that should absolutely be emphasized.]
Come to think of it, I guess dry eyes are not all that bad; it’s just that I wish that I’d appreciate my moist eyeballs while I had them. Eventually my post-partum pelvic bones eased back into place, but I fear that for my old-lady eyes, it’s all downhill from here. I guess it’s fortunate that I can find my favorite chef’s knife without even looking.