In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Reality Check

When my first three children were younger, they established a Vogt family motto. It goes like this:

Always hungry.
Never tired.

That pretty much summed up what it was like to have three young kids in the house. They were constantly clamoring for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In between times, it was all about snacks!

And no matter how busy our day was, no matter how early they woke up or how late they went to bed, they were never, ever tired.

Five-year-old Christa is carrying on the "Always hungry, never tired" theme begun by her older siblings. Just today I chatted on the phone with my mom. At one point I said, "I need to get Christa to bed. She is so tired now that she's going to kindergarten."

"No, I'm not! I am never tired!" Christa insisted.

And most days it seems that way. Christa has a limitless source of energy. The reality is I don't. Whatever resilience I had in my twenties and thirties was long gone by the time Christa was born. As my caboose kid, Christa gets the old mom. She gets the tired mom.

That's my reality--and hers too. Sometimes I feel guilty that I can't rewind the clock and be young again--no matter what the vitamin or cosmetic companies try to sell. I'm forty-seven years old and I'm only getting older.

But I am learning to be content about my age too. I'm calmer at forty-seven than I was in my twenties. I've fought some battles with my older kids and now I know what's important and what's not. Mothering my first three kids involved a lot of on-the-job-training. Now Christa benefits from my years of mothering experience.

Older? Yes. More tired? Yes. Wiser? I certainly think so. And wisdom only comes with time. For that reason alone I'm accepting getting older.

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