I’m not freaked out about my age. I worried more turning thirty-nine than I did fifty. Thirty-nine seemed the end of youth. No kidding. At fifty, while I sometimes long for my mom on Sunday mornings to be making pancake breakfast in my kitchen, complete with juice in silly little glasses, I get that I’m the matriarch in the house. My first kid left home when I was – just a sec – math is hard for me when I haven’t slept all freak’en night –eighteen plus twenty-five equals forty-three – holy shit (excuse the language, I’m tired and cranky) was I only forty-three? These days women are having babies at the same age that I was all boo hoo over mine packing her bags – no wonder I’ve been blogging on that subject forever.
Where was I? Right, I’m not upset that I’m fifty – something-in-the-first-half-of-the-fifties.
Okay you guessed it – it’s this menopause bit that has me feeling crazy. (Acting crazy?) And somehow it seems aside from information gleaned from all those stupid email jokes with pot bellied old ladies with saggy boobs threatening their ill-prepared husbands, I don’t have the hard facts on this hormonal upheaval. I kept meaning to buy a book about it – seriously, this isn’t a dumb menopause joke – but in all the hundreds of times I was in a bookstore, I forgot. Right now I want to mention something really basic, almost intuitive, that I couldn’t remember the other day, but I can’t remember what that was. I did finally buy a book, and somewhere in the pre-amble to how for the next few years my life would be wacked, it told me I’d have trouble staying on task, and true enough I have, so much so that I haven’t been able to read the manual.
Just after I had that daughter of mine who left home eons ago – and is currently hormonally challenged herself – but at least she gets a baby out of it – I ran off to the mall for baby nail clippers and rubbing alcohol for that nasty umbilical cord bit and left her with her daddy. I thought the boys (boys, not men, I was just a girl back then) were staring at my voluptuous-as-never-before breast feeding body (I actually felt like a cow), but was shocked to look down and see I was leaking milk through my light cotton dress. Being almost the first of my friends to have kids – no one had informed me about how I might leak while out in the mall. I could never figure out how I missed that fun fact of how being a new mommy involved having boobs with no self control. And now I can’t figure out why I don’t know much of this menopause stuff. Yeah, I guess I always imagined that we get hot and fat and can grow mustaches. But where are the women warriors that are supposed to inform me about all this not sleeping (leading to hormonal blog writing), the ridiculous benign, yet annoying, restless legs, the lost of nouns and names and the further hindrance of my limited ability to do math.
And what was the evolutionary purpose I wonder, as the moon continues to rise on a November morning with me wide awake at 3:56 a.m.? It had to be that back in the day, having outlived our reproduction purposes the grand plan was that, not sleeping, we would wander out of the cave to rub sticks together and be eaten by a dinosaur – leaving more berries and wild animals for the younger women (my timeline might be skewed but you get the picture.)
Sometimes I see a women near my age who looks serene and calm, or maybe even a little giddy. And I think – she’s done, she’s been through it and come out on the other side, maybe she’ll tell me the brand of cream I can buy at the health food store that I can rub on my forehead and I’ll be able to remember the names of my four kids again. Help me, women friends out there in blog-o- (oh, God – I can’t remember how to spell what I want to say, my spelling was never top notch but it’s leaving me with my math and my nouns) okay, tell me just this, this could go a long way – how do I sleep again, like a baby (well, not my daughter’s baby) but those other babies that sleep all through the night?