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Older Mommy Lament

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: "I recently got an invitation to my 25th High School Reunion. I opened it while I was feeding my baby. Which made me think, "who has a baby 25 years after graduating from high school?" I quickly (actually slowly because I suck at math) did the calculation and discover I'll be 63 at my son's high school graduation.

older mother looking proudly at graduate

"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 63?" I sing, trying to lighten the weight of this realization while I move on to changing his diaper. Gideon giggles at the sight of me shaking my head from side to side.

I smile back, sigh, and think,

"Baby penises are really small."

I fasten the Huggie at his hips.

I wonder if it will get proportionately larger as he gets bigger.

I hope it does.

I wonder what other women will think of his penis.

I wonder if I will live long enough to meet any of these women who will evaluate my son's penis.

Will I live to meet his wife?

If he waits as long as I did, it's not looking likely.

While I continue to dress Gideon for his nap and settle him in his crib, I flash forward to his high school graduation and it isn't pretty.

There I am in my Eileen Fisher separates amidst all the younger mommies in their fitted linen suits, holding the program up against my nose because I've forgotten my reading glasses in the car, right next to my calcium supplements. During the valedictorian's speech, I loudly unwrap and chomp on mints to mask the odor of my acid reflux. The ceremony ends and Gideon throws his cap to me. I reach for it and throw my back out.

I hobble to the car wincing, very proud of him, but hoping I can stay awake to watch "American Idol: Where are They Now?"

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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley November 15, 2008, 9:04 AM

Very funny. My friend and I both have a 6 year old. We actually were talking about this the other day. I will be 38 when my son graduates, she will be in her late 50’s when her daughter graduates. She was actually a teacher when I was still in high school but I didn’t know her. Now we’re best friends. She just waited late to have kids. You know what though, it’s not about how old you are, it’s about how old you feel!!

Anonymous November 15, 2008, 2:55 PM

I’ll be 43 next year when my first graduates high school but I’ll be 58 when my last graduates. So I can relate to your story. Older moms are great though. I just hope the last of my three kids doesn’t end up having to support me.

Wahwah November 15, 2008, 8:54 PM

Oh please. Too bad you’ll probably never see your grandchildren. I’m so sick of these old women “wanting it all” and priding themselves on finally finding the time and selflessness to have a child when they’re in their forties. Making a baby out a 44 year old egg doesn’t sound like such a great idea to me. I’m glad that I had my kids in my mid 20s; I have the energy and optimism to last their childhood. I have the whole rest of my life to do the “ME” things; when my children are out on their own, my husband and I will be young enough to truly enjoy the next 20-30 years of our marriage doing whatever we want. More power to you old moms though, just don’t get offended when people think you’re the grandma.

Anonymous November 15, 2008, 11:15 PM

A little harsh don’t you think, Wahwah. Sometimes we have valid reasons for not having children in our 20s. I didn’t get married until I was 30, and then I had health issues. My little girl just turned 1, and I will be 37 in a few weeks. Sometimes it’s not about “ME things”, but about waiting on God’s perfect timing.

Anonymous November 16, 2008, 1:04 PM

Yeah wahwah, this “older mommy” was getting busy having fun when the old birth control failed. Like we can’t have fun or even “accidents” in our forties. Get over yourself. It’s not like we shrivel up and die when we hit forty. And it’s not about being selfish. My toddler totally enjoys his old mama and while my knees may creak a bit, there’s nothing I can’t do for him that I didn’t do in my twenties with my other kids. Except the difference is I’m not making the same parenting mistakes I made when I was younger. I’m a much better parent now with some life knowledge. And if they think I’m grandma, that’s their problem not mine.

Denise  November 17, 2008, 2:56 PM

I am actually 45 and have legal custody of my neice who just turned two today, I also have two teenage boys, I am a fitness trainer and I feel great and no one has thought I am her grandma yet, the day may come but I do not care. I did what needed to be done by taking in my neice, and I would not of had another child in my 40’s but I have two and was content, but anyone who does have kids in their 40’s I think it is great!

Felecia November 17, 2008, 3:31 PM

I had my child when I was 40 and do not regret it. I had time to do everthing in life that i wanted to do and did not have to leave a child on anyone to do it. Now when I need to be there for may son I will be there for him. I pray that God will let me live long enough to see what my grandchild will look like. I feel great and I am a 50 year old woman with no health problems and hope to stay that way.
loving my child and feeling good

Jodi November 17, 2008, 3:31 PM

Get real, Wahwah. My twins were born when I was forty, not by design but because that’s how it all worked out — including finding the right husband to be their father. We were ready emotionally, financially and in every other way to become parents, and now that the economy is tanking I’m sure glad I worked and invested my savings for 20 years before becoming a loving, stay-at-home (who freelances when they’re in school). Your smugness just reveals your insecurities — you couldn’t possibly have had an education, solid career and opportunities to travel and grow if you were popping out babies in your mid-20s. Energy and a line-free face, yes; maturity and worldliness, no. You may think you have many years ahead of you to enjoy your free time and happy marriage, but life (not to mention men) have a way of throwing the unexpected at you. I plan to dance at both my kids’ weddings and relish becoming a grandma!!

rw November 18, 2008, 11:29 AM

I know I’m supposed to laugh at the thought that I’m gonna be 65 before my eldest graduates, I can’t. I’ll be a real Mummy before my youngest gets there… UGH! Perhaps there will be great advances in Science within the next 10 years (before I’m too far gone) meaning we all live till 130?
Then again maybe not…

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 1:29 PM

Nice post. Nice reading. I’ve just got a small observation to offer about tee shirts.

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