Recently, I found-out about the death of one of my junior high school teachers. When my friend gave me the news I said, “He must have been pretty old when he died! I remember him being old when I was a student.” Well, he was only 78 when he died. That means he was 60 when I knew him. 60 is not old. 78 isn’t even that old. It was while we were having this conversation that I started to think about the age of my parents when I was in junior high.
My Mom was younger then I am TODAY when I was in junior high school.
Let me say that another way. My mom had a teenager, in junior high school, when she was 34.
When that fact sank in, I felt… I feel… Well, it’s indescribable.
I am a woman wishing for, hoping for and dreaming of more children at an age where many women are done having children. At my age now, my Mom was not only done having children, but two of her three children were teenagers (or at least 12 and older).
Sometimes, it’s hard to not get down in the dumps about the whole situation.
When I was in junior high school, I had my life all planned out. Do you remember doing that when you were 13 and 14 years old? When (the fall after I graduated from high school) and where I would go to college (Ricks or BYU) and what I would major in (education or business) was decided. By the time I turned 21, I would be a college graduate preparing to serve a mission for the LDS church. When I returned home from my foreign mission at 22 1/2, I would be ready for the next phase of life, namely marriage. By 24 I would not only be married, but I would be having my first child. If I had a child every 2 years, or so, I would be done having kids by age 30-ish. Then I would still be a relatively “young mom” raising her children. As the proverbial cherry on top, I would lose all my baby weight so that I was not only a “young mom”, but I would also be a thin and fit mom.
Let me now return and report on how my life actually played out.
College: I went an entire year after I graduated from high school. My only real excuse is that I was lazy and unmotivated. I think that’s when I first started working at Eddie Bauer. When I finally got to college, I did go to Ricks, but for only one year. The year after my mission I went to Dixie State College for a year or two. I still haven’t graduated.
LDS Mission: I went! Although I didn’t go to a foreign country, I went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah and it was very foreign. I had to learn pieces of various languages and many of my companions barely spoke English. There were times I would be on a bus tour made up entirely of Germans, Koreans, or Chinese people. At those times, I felt like I was on a foreign mission. I was almost 23 when I got home.
Marriage: I was only 2 months from my 25th birthday when I got married. My hubby and I dated for nearly 3 years before we decided to tie the knot in 2002.
Children: My Mattie didn’t come until 2006. About 1 month later we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and 2 months after that I turned 30. In 2010 we got Zoe. We are still waiting and hoping she will be ours. Summer of 2011 will be a very exciting time for us. We are also still waiting and hoping for another child/children to come to us the natural way. I am 30-ish and not done having children.
Young, thin, fit mom: I will not be a “young mom”. I will have the joy of being a “middle-aged mom”. So far, I am not a thin and fit mom either. However, I am really working on it and hope to become that in 2011.
The 14 year old version of how my life should unfold is quite different from reality. The things I was unable to plan for at 14 were the challenges, laughs, disappointments, joys, sadness, and surprises that life throws our way. My 14 year old self was not able to comprehend the grief of not getting pregnant, the joy of birth, the complications of longing to adopt, the loss of a self-owned business, or the surprise of living with parents again in my mid-thirties.
In spite of my life plan’s shortcomings, I wouldn’t change a thing! I am happy with and eternally grateful for the man I chose to marry when the time was right for us. Regretfully, I have not graduated from college, but I still have time! I do not care that I am almost 35 and still yearning for more children. I know they will come. And we will not live with my parents for forever. It’s been a great time to learn and grow.
Age wise, my life may not be the norm, but what’s age got to do with it anyway?!