When? he asked. When does middle age end and old age begin?

"When" he asked, " when does middle age end and old age begin?"

It took awhile to recover from his question.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Another Year

Today I AM older and still no wiser. In fact just this last little while I feel less sure of myself , not in a dotty oldster sort of way but questioning what I  have always held to be true, those basic beliefs about who I am and what I know. I have questioned my view of past happenings and assumptions that have shaped my life. I always thought that old folks were rigid in their thoughts and beliefs-either I'm not there yet  or this is one of my realizations.

This year has been remarkable, probably one of the most significant of my life. I have repeatedly  been present at the most powerful of moments  one can ever experience. I have witnessed the first breath  of  nine new lives.The spark of energy that ignites in the room when a child is born is palpable. It charges the room and reflects in the faces of everyone there. I feel it in my being. I could never have imagined the gift I would be given when I first chose to be a birth companion three years ago. I only saw what I could give not what I would receive. I am so thankful to the families that choose me to accompany them on their journey.

In this year, my youngest son has left home. He was late to leave and truly I had begun to see him as always living here . I could not imagine life without him living with us, but not living with us; here but separate. It's been over 6 months now and I miss him, but I don't . We talk and text from time to time and I try to turn off the worry switch. When those thoughts begin to rise, I try not to let them settle on me. I remind myself of how capable he is and remember back to when I was that age and it helps to quell the concerns. I have let him go and with his departure the responsibility that I have held onto, or so I tell myself and truly it is better every week he is on his own.

My elder son is away-way away. He has left his job and is travelling in Southeast Asia. I have been very proud of him. He has had a very responsible position and a strong successful career. I am even prouder of him for giving it all up and allowing himself to be the man he needs to be. His travel is not open ended. He will return at the end of the year. He is often in danger, his life is frequently imperiled and yet I am little more than anxious when he hasn't called for a few weeks. Even the call to say he was recovering from dengue fever did little to my calm. I look forward to his return and the new adventure he will undertake as a husband and my new role as a mother- in- law.

I can't reflect on my relationship too long or too deeply. We dance around each other politely and relish in the space between us physically and emotionally but then we become very close and it's almost as if the 35 years of parenthood never happened and we are sweet lovers, once again.

It's been quite a year, this 60th year of my life. I look forward to the unfolding future.

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