Every Ten Years

Age 4: Adored by my older siblings, drama queen, Daddy’s girl, hate having my hair washed.

Age 14: Massive crush on Omar Sharif, have seen Dr. Zhivago in the theater 11 times, hate that my mom makes me cut my long hair, get braces, take a trip to California, Nevada and Utah with my blonde, nubile older sister. She appears on Let’s Make A Deal and wins a boat, while I sit in the audience and watch her do it.

Age 24: Mother of one, married to a nice man, worrying that I’m not doing it right, canning fruit, cleaning house and baking cookies. I’m loving it all–even the worrying.

Age 34: Mother of four, still married to the nice man but it’s shaky, addicted to tanning, compulsive shopping, loving mothering, still baking cookies and worrying.

Age 44: Mother of five, grandmother of one, hanging onto sliding marriage, children leaving home, wanting to write and run, feeling guilty about everything, best friend fighting breast cancer, looking for something I can’t find, still baking cookies and loving mothering, but afraid of what happens when it’s only me and the nice man left at home.

Age 54: Working writer, divorced mother of five, grandmother of three, administrative assistant, rarely feel guilty, hardly ever bake cookies, still see movies in the theater multiple times, wear my hair long, my best friend is still alive in the world, constantly trying to face fears, still friends with the nice man, enjoying single life for now, but looking forward to another nice man someday, figuring out how to mother older children, grateful, happier than before, anticipating, tasting, relaxing more than ever.

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