When Did We Become Our Parents’ Age?


A mom sitting with big kids.So here I am, facing 40 and approaching true middle age. I feel the pull of time and the disbelief that events in recent memory occurred 10, 15, even 20 years ago. It feels so strange to do things with my kids that I clearly remember doing at their age. It feels even stranger to be doing something I remember my mom doing now that I’m the age I most clearly remember her being.

When did this happen? When did we become our parents’ age? When did we become the ones who make all the decisions, heal the tears, and comfort the growing pains? When did we become the ones supposed to have all the answers?

I feel now how rapidly time marches on. When I cried that my newborn daughter was getting “big so fast” when she was only three days old, it wasn’t just hormones making me crazy. It was the feeling of being on the other side of a watershed moment. Never again would I be what I was before, responsible only for myself. Never again would I welcome that first child and experience that first euphoria and fear as a newborn was placed on my chest and began to nurse. My body, mind, and heart were no longer my own. They were being consumed by someone else. I was a mom.

And so time marches on. I have one foot still in the world of little kids. My children are still home. They still need me and want to be with me. But the next step is coming. It is another phase of letting go. My body keeps changing. My children keep growing. We all keep getting older.

Who am I now? I am the age I remember my mom being. My hands look the way I remember her hands being when I grabbed for them. Even our wedding bands look the same. I make the dinners she used to make. I read some of the same books to my kids that she used to read to me. I hear myself using the exact phrases and tones of voice she used on me and my sisters.

I am the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa. I’m cleaning the kitchen, chaperoning the field trips, planning the parties, and paying the bills. I sit up at night and listen to the chatter about my kids’ days. I’m the one that they snuggle against when they don’t feel well. I’m so much like what I remember my mom being when I was ten years old.

Each stage of life goes so fast. Even if you try not to blink, try to look around and soak it all in, the days peel by. I’m the age I rememberA mom sitting with big kids. my mom being. I want to stay here a while and enjoy it.

Do you remember what your parents were like at your age? Do you do things differently or the same as them?


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