Wednesday, August 15, 2007

it's a process

Julie went to a wedding last weekend. Two of her friends from high school got married. She met the bride in junior high, actually, when they were two of the least-played members of the seventh grade volleyball team. In her wedding photos, Tasha looks pretty much like she did when she was twelve - petite, with shining black hair and dimples that flash when she smiles. Her new husband, Kevin, is tall and thin and wears his military uniform. He is an army medic with two tours of duty in Iraq completed, but no guarantees that he won't have to go back again. With his close-cropped hair, he looks much younger than twenty-five. He looks like one of the little boys on the block with a summer buzz-cut.

I was drawn particularly to a photo of Julie with some of her closest high school friends, their arms draped around each other, laughing and leaning into the camera. They look exactly the same as they did in all the pictures we ever took of them in their high school marching band uniforms. Yet I know they are all in their mid-twenties now, married or engaged, for the most part, with one of them expecting her first child. This is hard for me to comprehend because on the inside, I am just about twenty-five myself. Well, a little younger, to be honest. Just turned twenty-one, let us say. Even if you're not a math whiz, you can see that just doesn't add up. So I am trying to accept that if my kids are well into their twenties, I can't be anymore. It's a difficult thing to do, though.

I remember talking to my Aunt Isabel probably ten years ago now, when she was in her late seventies, and she said to me, "You know, sometimes I look in the mirror, and I don't recognize the old lady I see looking back at me. Because in here," she tapped her chest, "I'm still about twenty years old."

So if it's sometimes hard for me to "act my age," at least I can feel that I am in good company.


Kristy said...

I think that if you actually believe you are the age you are, you're really missing out on something.

anne mancine said...

I thought it was interesting that we wrote posts on such similar topics. Great minds and all that.

Julie and I were talking about this, and I think different people have all different internal ages. Ben's dad for example, always felt and acted like he was in his 70's, and now he is. Jules feels more like a forty year-old, and can't wait until she actually is that age. (And when I think about it, that goes a long way towards explaining why she treats me like her unruly child so much of the time. By our internal ages, she is the mom!)

Kristy said...

Yeah I thought that was interesting too :) I was mostly referring to my inner child, but in reality, my vision of myself hasn't changed much since I graduated college. Sometimes I do a little internal double take when I realize I'm 27 (soon to be 28) and not 22. However, this sometimes changes when I interact with certain people. For example, when I act as the mediator for my family's disputes (which is, like, all the damn time) I feel very much like a 50 year old therapist. When I'm laughing about Dick Etter (oh man was that funny) I'm 10 all over again.