4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.
Today, cleaning out my e-mail from weeks ago, I re-read an e-mail from one of my college roommates.
We’d had a girl’s weekend in Washington, D.C. complete with walks to all the monuments, sushi and a crazy spin class during which I almost threw up in the dark to the sound of Katy Perry imploring me to be a hero, not a zero.
It was an awesome weekend of rejuvenation. Truly. Too much saké, and all of us lamenting and celebrating our insidious aging- it was brilliant. Also, I stole my roommate’s Metro card. The one from her boss, the judge or the president or someone important. I don’t know exactly who gave it to her, but I do know that it’s worth money, lots and lots of money, and she wanted it back. Like five weeks ago.
So here’s the thing. I don’t remember reading that part of the string of e-mails of thanks and hahahas that followed. I don’t remember finding her card (although I do remember shoving it in my pocket somewhere in a D.C. subway) and I don’t remember sticking it in an envelope and scribbling her address on it and mailing said envelope back to D.C. No idea.
I’ve just checked my pockets, my wallet, my handbag and the Metro card has left the building, my building anyway. And so now I’ve sent an e-mail to my college bud, the one who’s a successful lawyer, who speaks Russian fluently and was the anchor on her high school quizbowl national championship team, and I await her response. Did I or did I not return the Metro card? In my e-mail I misspelled dementia, by the way.
Mama lost her brain… again.
I just texted a babysitter to ask her if she could babysit for us tomorrow night. Because it’s so easy to find an available sitter when it’s now Thursday and I need the sitter for Friday. In my text I wrote, “I know you must be dick of us, but any chance you’d be free to sit Friday from 6:00-9:30?” No joke.
She was actually just over last night for date night. And believe it or not, we ran into her mother at the restaurant while we were out. I’m not sure what I was expecting her mother to look like. Our date-night babysitter is a gorgeous, bright, educated, grown-up 21 year-old. She is a fully formed, amazing human being. And her mother? Equally gorgeous. Also? MY AGE! Seriously. If we’d gone to the same high school she would have been on my field hockey team. We’re the SAME AGE, people. I could be a parent of a 21 year-old instead of a 3 year-old. Yes, I will have another glass of wine, thank you.
I’m not sure exactly how it all ties together (because my brain can no longer make swooping, lyrical connections apparently) but there’s something going on here.
I think I might be aging. And forgetting things. And losing my mind, or at least the capacity to use it in normal, functioning ways.
But if I’m going to be fair to myself (Or is it fare? Oh, wait. Fare would be the Metro card…) perhaps this early-onset-dementia is not my brain, but rather, my circumstances, the conditions under which my poor, brittle, gelatinous brain is attempting to function. (And yes, my brain is both brittle and gelatinous, like my osteopenia bones, thanks.)
Because during the time I’ve been writing this I’ve wiped three butts and discussed the possibility of designing a monster truck car with skull decorations that could continue to drive even when the wheels come off. It would only cost a dollar, by the way, in case you’re interested. And I helped stick stickers on flying fairy princesses who are only wearing underpants until you sticker them. I mean, I’m literally looking at half-naked fairies and writing this. At the same time. Literally.
I’ve also texted three more babysitters for tomorrow night. And I tried not to use the word “dick.”
Maybe some days it’s all a little too much. Maybe when I think I have dementia because I can’t remember how I spent a Saturday before I had kids, it’s because I was doing almost nothing before I had kids, just making jewelry and watching ten consecutive episodes of TLC’s What Not to Wear or 50 First Dates for the 50th time. (Interestingly, that movie is about a woman who has a brain injury that makes her unable to acquire any new memories. I am currently astounded that the geriatric gerbil in my brain went and retrieved that perfectly fitting movie from my intellectual archives.)
So I’m realizing that although I’m a mother of four young children, I am no longer (and perhaps never was) a young mother of four young children; no, I will leave that claim to fame to my mother. I am even perhaps, an old mother of four young children. And what with the PTA or the school auction or the half marathon or the art show or the trip here or the driving them there or the art projects or the team sport or yes, even the blog, maybe we Mamas are all just doing a little too much to do any of it exactly as well as we’d like.
And for now, I say, that’s okay.