Just got the news. It's so different from "Welcome to Motherhood!" or "Welcome to Monday!" : "Welcome to Menopause!" my Doctor exclaimed, telling me about my test results. Of course HE can be excited - he's a man and has no idea what this hormonal roller coaster feels like.
But I do. I went to see him and declare my passage - he argued with me! - he was sure I was WRONG. I was TOO YOUNG (don't hear that too often at 50) and didn't have enough symptoms. But I had one symptom that seemed important enough: I really wanted to eat my children.
I feel like a teenager. The sound of their voices, which used to be music to my ears, makes me want to strangle somebody! Their bickering is going to get someone thrown through a window. If I have to pick up one more sock I am going to dip it in chloroform.
This is why a Menopausal Mom should not have children still in the home. I am now seeing the wisdom of having children as young as 11, and being free by 25. God really did know better than I. How about that?
I will now be getting help, now that I am "official", and by help, I mean a job outside the home and some really good "Please Don't Eat the Children" medication.
If you know anyone interested in hiring a motivated menopausal maniac, let me know. I'm picking up my prescription today.
Hilarious Mommy Dementia Moment #503:
I received an Evite for a sleepover birthday party for one of my kids; I didn't recognize the email it was from, and the guest list (clues!) were hidden; I wrongly assumed it was for my youngest. I became outraged that a sleepover was planned for 5 year olds!
I reply that my 5 year old kid can stay late, BUT NOT OVERNIGHT.
I proceed to write it down on the wrong night on our family calendar.
On the wrong day of the party, I talk about it nonstop with my spouse, as I am still incredulous about a sleepover for 5 year olds!
By nightfall, husband and I completely forget about the party (our kid was unaware of the Outrageous 5 Year Old Slumber Party - we never tell them ahead of time (this prevents incessant "When's so-and-so's party? How many days 'til so-and-so's party? Is today the day of so-and-so's party?" - and also provides an element of surprise for my own child when party day arrives. "Surprise! You get to go to so-and-so's party! Get your shoes on!") so there was no nagging coming from him, and we don't take him to the party.
I realize we forgot about it when I wake up the next morning, and instantly start feeling like a terrible Mother - what if no one else went and the poor birthday kid was scarred for life? Because, really, what parent in their right mind would drop their kid off at a 5 year old Birthday Sleepover Party?!
As the day goes on, I go from feeling guilty about forgetting, to joking all day about what an idiot I am for not remembering the party.
That night we go out for a nice dinner. This is a real Occasion, because it's The Whole Family: the High School Senior is with us.
Before we are seated, I receive a call from a # I don't recognize.
A man identifies as said birthday kid's parent. I get nervous: here it comes. My bad memory has really "ruined this 5 year old's entire life".
Dad: "Are you lost? We are looking forward to seeing (my 10 yr old child)"
First, I'm relieved - since I'm not getting a new one from a Dad with a broken hearted kid - but now I'm confused - my 10 year old is invited to a sleepover party that night??? I had no idea. I tell the Dad "I never got the Evite" - I am still not registering that I have just had the most Monumental Mommy Dementia Moment of my life.
I hang up and repeat the funny story TWICE: to friends we ran into at the restaurant, and then to my husband: two different parties; one I forgot and one I didn't even know about... before my brain registers that not only did I have the wrong kid, and wrong day... but there never was a 5 Year Old Sleepover Birthday Party!
My 10 year old made it to right party with a gift, for those wondering.
I made it home, took an overdose of Ginkgo, and went to bed.
When I was learning to ride my bike, I spent hours on a flat sidewalk, alone, without a worry of bad guys in cars or houses or lurking behind bushes. I had a bell on my handle bars and the wind in my hair - no helmet required then.
My kids are growing up without sidewalks, on a hill... surrounded by lots of other hills... steep hills... on an unpaved, potholed road. I have a mental map, thanks to Google, of where the nearest sex offenders live. We have no less than 12 helmets of various sizes, characters and colors, strewn around the garage, JUST IN CASE... because for most of the year my kids are not on those bikes.
Once a year for the past fourteen years we would pack up our minivan, try on helmets, fill up bike tires, and strap the bikes onto the dusty rack, and trek out to the Oregon Coast for our church's annual camping trip. We'd leave our house in the present - and pull into the campsite in the past. Our minivan had become a time machine - it was now sometime in the 70's - when you could ride your bike in a circle without fear of cars, bad guys, and hills... and in that circle, everyone knew your name... the neighbors watched you ride by, could tell your Mom the last time they saw you, and you could stop in for a cookie without worry.
There was no TV, no Wii, no XBOX, no videos, and for many years, no cell phones. There were board games, Farkle tournaments, hide and seek, tree climbing, hiking, sandcastle building.
I have four kids... all but one learned to ride their bike without training wheels at this camping trip! A friend would help take the training wheels off, older kids would run with them, and off they'd fly. Neighbors would cheer them on, and the whole magical time travel thing would click.
This is the first year that I won't have a new bike rider at the campout - we were unable to do the time travel, and he learned to ride in a parking lot near the house. One day of riding, just his family to cheer him on. A milestone, but the magic was missing, and it felt kinda sad.
I learned that time travel is important - and we'll make room for it next year. Today my church community is travelling through time and will enjoy the magic for a week - and I hope that God blesses their time together in that little bubble of the past...
I have seven days left in my forties. In one week, when I think about my age, there will be TWO new numbers identifying it, not just one digit. I have been thinking about what I can cram into that week as if it were a "deadline" (no pun intended).
So far, most of the stuff I want to add to the Forties Bucket List is stuff I need to get done for Christmas, and that isn't all that exciting. I think a Bucket List should be exciting - like a bunch of unattainable goals to shoot for - like bagging a wild tiger or having your best friend's husband hit on you. Since I doubt I will check either of those things off anytime soon, that kind of Bucket List starts to feel like a Failure List to me, and I already have one of those in my head.
My ideal Forties Bucket List (just the Forties decade) would be one I could check everything off on... so why not do the list in retrospect? How accomplished I could feel!
MY √'D OFF FORTIES BUCKET LIST:
(not in any particular order)
√ Pregnancy test at 49 years of age. Negative - thank God.
√ Pretend heart attack = comfortable, child-free, overnight stay in ER
√ Adopt a child at 40. Adopt another one at 45. Adopt an attitude: "no new child comes here again".
√ Stop drinking alcohol. You're not in college anymore.
√ Nominate your 8 year old to be Grand Marshal in the Grand Floral Parade, and then watch her sit and wave in the rain for four hours and be really happy for her.
√ Teach a child with Downs Syndrome to read and write. Love you, Miss Megan!
√ Lose/Gain over 500 pounds in ten years.
√ Go to Paris, Vienna, and my parents house.
√ Write comedy, stand on stage, tell it into a microphone in front of people.
√ Teach a teenager to drive.
√ Potty train two children... one successfully.
√ Make a dog as crazy as I am... then hate the dog for being crazy.
√ Be a Clown named "Woo Hoo" in the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.
√ Shamelessly solicit friends to come to comedy events and pay to hear you say things that you say in carpool line anyway.
√ Stay married for 20 years
√ Bring a dog home while the family's away and name it for your Mother.
√ Walk with two beautiful women as they die of brain cancer. RIP Heidi & Francesca.
√ Fly off a 18 foot sand dune cliff, even though you watched a video telling you how to avoid doing so, and have your teen son scoop you up. Be too embarrassed to call an ambulance, and ride the damn thing back to the rental place. See various doctors for 3 years trying to fix the pain. PRICELESS.
√ Rent a theater so your budding filmmaker son can showcase his videos to his friends on his 13th birthday.
√ Write a Women's Retreat, and lead retreats at your church for a few years, because they can't pry the microphone out of your hands.
√ Lose a toddler on a Hawaiian beach. Pretend to try hard to find him.
√ Spend a week in one hotel room with two teens, two small kids, and your husband... and LOVE it!
√ Slow down and watch the sunset over Gabriel Park EVERY TIME you see it...
√ Keep the magic of Christmas alive for your children... even the big kids.
√ Paint murals on my kids walls.
√ Keep caught up on family photos in albums. Can you say OCD?
√ Hear God's voice. See miracles. Embrace them.
√ Dress up as my son on Halloween to scare his old middle school teachers.
√ Fight with God. Lose.
√ Create an extended non-related family. Collect sisters. Boss them around like you're related.
√ Move a household.
√ Get burglarized.
√ Try contacts for my eyes. Hate them. Give up.
√ Go on a cruise with in-laws. Push no one overboard - including myself.
√ Meet interesting people.
√ Get hit/run by a drunk driver - then get accused of being the hit/runner by the drunk to the police.
√ Honor April Fools Day.