I once attended a Sunday School class for young marrieds where some of the members of the class had children in their early twenties. My husband and I, who had only been married a few months, laughed at their delusion. After ten years, are you really still newlyweds? After twenty, isn’t it time to face the fact that you are getting old?
Yet twenty years later, I understood. For some reason, everyone else seemed to get older, while for me time stood still. Everyone else aged, while I remained in my youth. And then it happened. I looked into the mirror one morning and reality stared back. I cried. I have since realized aging isn’t all bad, though. Sure there are new aches and pains, wrinkles and graying hair, but there are also new joys and opportunities.
This past year has been a big one for us. In March, after six years of dating, my oldest daughter Camille, married Dave, the love of her life. About a month later, she called home and excitedly asked to be put on speaker phone as she had an announcement. She was having a baby! And that of course meant that I was going to be a grandma. I asked her how long she had known and she said, “About a minute.” I loved that. I am glad she didn’t wait to share her joy. And despite the fact that I am not terribly excited about being called “Grandma”, I am eagerly looking forward to having another little one in our family. And that little baby Carly is expected to arrive right around Christmas, means that Santa will be bringing us the perfect Christmas gift this year.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. A month ago, my only son announced that after a four week courtship, he too was joining the ranks of the married. The big day will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving. His fiancé is a very sweet and beautiful girl named Kali, who thankfully, is also from Arizona. And together their love is deeper, wider, and more profound than any other love shared by any other couple since time began—or at least that is what Ryan tells me.
So this year, 2008, I will have become a mother-in-law twice over, and a grandma. My husband of 26 years will turn 50 and I am ready to admit to myself, and the world, that I am unashamedly, unapologetically, and decidedly, middle aged. But with that proclamation, I am also determined to . . . find joy in the journey!