Lately, I’ve been taking time to exercise more, and I have lost over 15 pounds in a little over a month (conspicuously, I guess, because my family keeps remarking on it.) It’s Summertime, and being a teacher, I’m soaking up all of this time away from the classroom to catch up on family and improving “Me.”
I also last week took just an hour away from my errand run and, after dropping my eldest daughter at work, diverted my path to a neighborhood salon and had my hair cut, radically by my family’s standards. It was just an hour’s diversion, but it’s notable that my family commented on my being late getting back to the house. I downloaded a handful of images off the internet, walked into an unfamiliar Supercuts, said a prayer, and got a cute, asymmetrical cut that my mother says takes years off my appearance, and which matches my upbeat attitude and go-go lifestyle.
On top of everything, one month ago today my second grandson was born, a beautiful bundle of long fingers and toes, pink cheeks and jet-black hair, and pictures of him dot Facebook posing with his elder brother, his sundry doting aunts, some still in elementary school, and his 12-year-old uncle. I am officially, proudly and loudly a “Grandmother.” And one who by all accounts still looks like she’s in her 30s evidently, since I’m told that all the time, although I generally don’t care about that. Much.
Oh! And my 49th birthday was this past week, kicking off my one year countdown (count-up!) to my Big 50th, which I’m plotting to spend on some far-away beach with people I love and who love me. Plans are underfoot.
Which brings me back to the first two paragraphs – about my body improvements and snazzy haircut:
My young son – the 12-year-old uncle of my grandsons who towers over me now and gives off the shadow of a man these days when he passes in the kitchen – my son was riding shotgun with me a few days ago, and as we waited leisurely in the parking lot for my daughter to get off work, I leaned out of the driver’s side window into the sun and looked at my hair in the side-view mirror, remarking absently, “Look at all this silver that’s popped up in my hair.”
To which my son replied quietly, “You know, Mom, it’s OK to get old.”
I gasped, a little shocked, and then got the sweetest feeling, whereby I asked him, “Why do you think I’m worried about getting old?”
“Well, you’ve lost all this weight, you’ve cut your hair, and now you’re talking about the silver in it.”
I smiled broadly, thinking that was the sweetest thing I had heard lately, feeling all warm inside that my son would try to reassure and comfort me.
Then I reassured him, saying I LOVE my new silver and especially the white, wanting it to be as white as Storm’s in X-Men, and that I was eating healthier and losing weight because, in our family, we often live into our 90s and 100s, and I wanted to be as active as I could, avoiding wheelchairs and hospital beds and continuing to make myself a cup of tea, and being that I had only just turned 49, I have a long ways to go, God willing. I can do some preventative work. Forty-Nine is barely out of our youth in my family. I said so with a laugh, and a glance at him in the rear-view mirror.
Well, he said, “Oh!” and was again content, and we continued to blast music and wait in the sunshine for my eldest daughter to be done with the day.
I thought that was the sweetest thing: Comforting me because he knew some people have a hard time “getting old.”
[Re-printed from my Sidelines writing.]