It seems like only yesterday I was wishing them a Happy 44th, but I'm sure to them it seems like only yesterday that I was born. 34 years, four months and five days ago.
I think it's kind of gross that I was born when they were only 28 and 30, because my whole life they just seemed. so. OLD.
But really, they weren't. They were young. If I were my mom, by this time I would have had 9 pregnancies and given birth seven times. My oldest daughter would be getting ready to graduate high school and my youngest would be secretly going to kindergarten on the bus with her older sister without my knowledge. My husband would have left me alone for weeks at a time -- with my six surviving
ingrates children in the three-bedroom/one-bathroom townhome where we all lived together -- to trap wolves, coyotes and fox for the government for a cool $7,000 per year. I would have taken that $7,000 and turned it into 1,095 meals per year and provided clothes, boots, coats, hats, mittens and scarves for my six jags delightful growing angels. There would be time to teach everybody how to read and write before they entered kindergarden. We would sew our own clothes and for special events everybody would wear something fresh and new. We would meet uptown once a week to learn how to square dance with old people and all of us girls would have a cute ruffly slip and bloomers to wear under our adorable square dancing outfits. Everybody would be bathed and teeth brushed and in pajamas at bedtime OR ELSE. I wouldn't have a cell phone or a TV or a minute to myself and if I decided to take up oil painting, one of my brats daughters would decide she didn't like the size of the moon in one of my landscapes and take it upon herself to make it just a little bigger with her fingertip. My son would mortify me by bringing my non disposable douche to the dinner table when company was over, refusing to wait for me to "tell him later" what it was, and completely redeem himself afterward by taking the blame when I farted loudly.
Being that I can't even get out of bed in time for work most mornings, I cannot imagine being responsible for the life of even one other person.
And Dad, I love ya. You worked hard every day and taught us kids to work hard too. My heart broke a little today when I picked up my new iPhone and in order to connect it the Verizon people had to delete all the voicemails I had been saving from you. Like the one about the lady's slippers. ...and the one last summer when I left for a week and you said: "Just come home now. This isn't working out." ...and another when I left for Central America: "My heart is broken." ...and the adorable loving one from last week: "I think if I had it to do over, I would skip having kids and just get myself four-five answering machines so I could just call up and leave a message every couple days..."
Relish this time, you guys! You're childless! Responsibility-free! And yah, sometimes old age might creep up and you'll have to survive horrible things like prostate cancer and receiving promotional literature from Lark about their mobility scooters. You might even be targeted by those pesky texting companies who like to charge $9.99 per month to poor unsuspecting elderly people who don't know that the text service they're agreeing to is NOT a photo of one of their grandkids. But don't worry! You've got each other. You've got fishing.
And I'll be back before you can say "ungrateful jag brat".
Congratulations and Thank You for sticking it out for the last 45 years!
(I don't even want to think about how much nuttier I would be if I were a child of divorce.)