Posted by: Lizabeta | May 24, 2008

My True Age

My son turns 10 on Monday. 10 years old. A decade. 10 years ago, on a Monday, I was in a lot of pain. He was taking his first breaths. 10 years ago. Who even let me take him home from the hospital? Who thought that was a good idea?

I don’t even feel old enough to have a ten year old. Possibly it is the result of marrying someone 15 years older than me, possibly the result of always hanging around folks who are older than myself… but I still feel like I’m a kid.

At home, my husband and I are always cracking jokes about things I don’t remember because I wasn’t BORN yet. Or I was watching My Little Pony or She-Ra or listening to New Kids on the Block while he was in high school, or college, or in the first years of his first marriage. (Oh golly am I glad this blog is anonymous, I just admitted to listening to New Kids on the Block).

At work, I am the only person on this side of Menopause. They have all been there, done that, been married for 15+ years, have grown children, grandchildren. They, like my husband, talk about something from the 60’s or 70’s or early 80’s and when I give them a blank stare, crack a joke about what a baby I am.

I’m 30. I feel like I’m still trying to prove myself in this world. I still feel like I should be relegated to the kids table if we have too many guests for the big table. I still feel like I need to ask permission to use the office supplies. Like I should sit in the back seat of the car if someone (other than my kids) is driving with us. I find it hard to believe that I have a 10 year old child. Like an uploading file, he’s passed the 50% mark.

I remember my son’s first long sentence. My birthday, my parents took us to a buffet.We took their car. I decided to let him have as much dessert as he wanted. O.M.Goodness, the boy could pack it in. And more and more hyper he got, ’till he was nearly vibrating with energy. Swinging his fork around, almost stabbed my sister in the hand. I told him in a stern voice that I would take him out to my car if he didn’t calm down. He looked at me, pointed his fork at me, and said in a very punctuated voice, “No. Mommy. You listen to ME! Mah Car Is Not Here!” which took me by such surprise (and he was right, my parents drove) that I nearly fell out of my seat laughing.

He was so much shorter then.

I’m beginning to not have the answers to everything he asks. He’s beginning to do math better and faster in his head than I can on a calculator (okay, he’s a math nerd, it’s been quite a while he could do that).

At work the other day, I even said, “When I grow up I want to…” and I hadn’t said it in a joking voice, though I tried to make it seem like that after I let it slip. I feel like I’m faking being grown up all the time. I’m pretending. If I don’t know how to do something in Excel, I just look it up on the internet. If I don’t know a program, I just push buttons until I figure it out. I put on a big smile and say SURE every time someone asks me to do something but inside I’m praying that I don’t screw up something important. If I don’t know the answers, I find them. But I’m faking it. Faking being together, faking being organized (thank goodness they can’t see my house), faking being professional.

I fake being a parent. I make decisions based on what I think a ‘good parent’ would. In my head I have this picture of what being a good parent is all about and I try to emulate that. I faked it when I put him into the car seat the first time. I faked it when I carried him around the house. I was terrified the first night I was home and my parents said, “We are going to bed now, goodnight.” and inside I was thinking How Could You Leave Me Alone with Him?? I faked confidence and said goodnight. I faked being a good parent by purchasing ‘soccer mom’ type clothing so his teachers would take me more seriously. I don’t feel old enough for him to be in kindergarten. I don’t feel old enough to have a first, second, third, fourth grader.

I don’t feel old enough to have a child about to enter 5th grade. ZOMG, when did THAT happen? He is as old as I was when I met my best friend. We are still friends. We’ve been friends for 20 years now. 20 years!? When did THAT happen? My life has been going on for 30 years and somehow I got stuck on 17 – 20 ish.

My son is turning 10 on Monday. I am a 30 year old woman with a 10 year old son. I am a grown up.




  1. This post made me smile, I have so felt this way and I’ve got 17 years on you. I still feel that way sometimes, I have a 22 year old and a 3 year old. Sometimes when I go out with them both without my husband, people think my oldest is my youngest’s dad. It’s pretty funny.

    I guess, whether we admit it or not, no matter who we see in the mirror looking back at us…we’re grown now. 🙂

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