I never gave much thought to being an older mom. Parenting wasn’t in the cards for me when I was in my 20s. I couldn’t care for mini humans while downing cheap beer and noshing on 7-Eleven frozen burritos at 2 a.m.
In my early 30s, my outlook drastically changed. My biological clock began striking like Big Ben, but finding a striking partner wasn’t working as well. My friends called me the “Queen of First Dates.” But why buy the cow, when he’s boring and full of himself?
By my mid-30s, I married a wonderful man who wanted to start a family right away. I concurred. You would think by 35, I’d be well-equipped for what was coming; but the Great Baby Hurricane of 2005 rocked us off our foundation.
Like most new parents, I quickly learned my wild years were behind me. Sure my babies were cute while they screamed like feral animals, but since my girls were only 14 months apart, my past needed to be hung up to dry out. Add some running shoes and a large vat of Ben Gay, and this old gal was prepped to train for the parenthood marathon.
Would I have had more stamina or patience as a younger mom? If I had started a family right out of college, would I have been able to provide for my kids financially as well, or give them the emotional support that only time can afford? There’s an enormous difference between 35 and 21. Just ask my stretch marks.
I would like to think the young me would have nurtured my children into adulthood; but I’ve always thought I made the right decision waiting.
Until a few years ago.
While making my weekly Target trip for the family, I moseyed over to the glasses kiosk. Glancing over my shoulder to ensure no one I knew was watching me, I moved toward the type of glasses that many ladies have attached to a chain dangling around their neck while maneuvering tiles during their weekly mahjong game.
Yes, the time had come for me to start wearing readers. I managed to convince myself it was because my arms had grown too short. Blissful ignorance and avoiding reality is what keeps me young.
If you’ve ever tried on “cheaters,” there’s an entire production before you purchase the correct pair. I thought I’d find the pretty ones, check if I could see out of them and be done. Wrong.
First, if you are lucky enough to see the prescription numbers on the label, you are ahead of the game. Since I had small children and rarely had time to myself to try on 32 pairs in one trip, I waited longer than I should have.
As the directions state, first you must stand 14 inches away from the mirror.
Did they mean from the tip of my nose or were my toes to be that far from the shelving?
Since the instructions weren’t clear enough for me, I automatically assumed the manufacturers didn’t know what they were talking about.
I perched the pretty pair on my nose and began searching for small print. What I needed was a can of tomato paste. The lettering on those tiny cans is so small, I’ve had to change dinner plans mid-meal preparation. But there in my cart was the font I needed, on the back of the Huggies’ Pull-Ups.
Readers and diapers — the irony is priceless and ridiculous. There are few moments in my life where I heartily laugh at myself. The kind of laugh where you can’t breathe, your face reddens and tears stream down your cheeks.
Good thing I didn’t have my daughters with me because I’m sure someone would have ruined my laughing cleanse by telling me how cute my granddaughters were.
That hypothetical person is very lucky I didn’t hurl a jumbo pack of Huggies at her.
And with my new trendy specs, I would have nailed her.
Reach Stacey Hatton at LaughingWithKids@yahoo.com.