There's something a bit poetic about having a baby at 36. When she's 4, you're 40. Five years old and you're 4+1, six and 4+2. The poetry isn't in the math so much as in the reawakening middle age can spark in a person. Forty is a huge milestone, half your shelf life is gone, face it who doesn't go for the fresh milk way in the back? Add still raising a young child and it's a faltering reawakening. You take stock in what's left on your shelves, but it's a halting, constantly interrupted, slower process than the unencumbered 40 year old with more self sufficient children. Or no children of course, but that's entirely another matter. I imagine their stock is filled with shelves of entirely different experiences and accomplishments, easily categorized by earned income, books read, movies seen in movie theaters, restaurant dinners, perhaps travel brochures?
Anyway not to digress, it's a much more twisted road back to coherent sentences 20 years after your last final exam. (In my case 11 years since my educational process has been long and still neglected today) Wander off path and suddenly you're reminiscing about some decades old crossroad with three still uncharted roads. So back to the poetry. Rather than flail around with frustration or (heaven forbid us mothers ever admit to feeling this so shhhhhhhh) resentment because I'm unable to focus on other accomplishments besides child rearing, I decided I'm going to have a do over ! While my little girl is four I'm going to be four ! Preparing to head out into the world of buses and elementary school without the comforting apron strings of home ready to snap me back within 3 hours. I'm going to play and jump and eat only when I really want to and if I'm not too busy, so as to keep body as well as mind healthy and young. When she's five I'm going to be five ! Dipping our toes in that great big bureaucracy of rules, schedules and learning we call public education, only mine will also include some reducation along with some new credentials. And six, oh six will be huge ! First grade, 8 hours straight with perhaps even an after school activity to keep us far from the advice and encouragement of each other as we navigate our days. And so on as long as our our ages are a symmetric equation ! By the time I'm 50 the poem will be over, she'll turn 15 and mom will be banished, only brought out for audience participation, hair emergencies and when some life event has given her visceral knots of doubt or fear worthy of dusting mom off for some guidance. From now on I'm choosing to be as freed up as my child, unable to predict what the future will hold or what direction will call out to us. The next decade is going to be such a wonderful ride :)