Adler woke up with some pain today after going a week with out it. So we did our normal routine of meds, heating pad, neck wrap and waiting. Once he felt better we got him dressed in his school uniform and I did the mental check list for the morning and out the door we went. His class along with the rest of the students at his school were in chapel. He attends a private Lutheran school so I walked him down to the newly added on church. It’s beautiful. It’s modern yet traditional and very inviting. It smelled new. I love the smell of new construction. It reminds me of my childhood and teenage years of visiting job sites with my dad on Sunday’s or working at them with my mom when I was older. We held hands as we walked in and it felt comfortable. We sat in the back in a pew all to ourselves and the prayers sounded true over the microphone. When it was over I walked him back to class and said goodbye and went back to my minivan parked in the handicapped spot adorned with it’s Fuck Cancer sticker under the Marvel family and next to the Later’s Baby sticker from Fifty Shades of Grey. That pretty much says it all right there.
I turned the radio station and “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper came on and I sang the lyrics out loud and was reminded of that song in my lemon yellow room as a little girl with my Strawberry Shortcake record player rocking out to the likes of her and Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson. Oh those were the days. Barbie was the most important thing next to my records, jelly bracelets and an extra time around the block on my blue banana seated Schwinn bike that had a bell on it that I rang every time I got back so my mom knew I was home. I smiled with those memories and it felt good. Especially after my doctors appointment yesterday for my newly symptomatic heart where the doctor so kindly said “it’s not uncommon for a middle aged woman to have PVC’s or a skipping heart beat”. Um, did that mother fucker just call me middle aged? Oh hell know he didn’t!! Wow. I am going to be 38 this month. I am middle aged. Holy shit. When did that happen?
I don’t look like it, do I? I mean some days I might feel like it but I assume that’s normal considering I AM!!! But at most I feel like 28 not 38. Oh My God. Is this when I am supposed to have like a mid life crisis? And if so, what does that in tale? What are the warning signs of that behavior? I need to know so I can discuss it with my far out, way cool, hippie lesbian therapist that I adore with all my being because she has given me the direction I needed to remain intact mentally through this journey of pain and suffering with our son. Not mention the already fucked up underlying issues of repressed emotion and anxiety and the ability to not knock a mother fucker out if I feel like it. I have kept my anger in check and that is impressive considering me in the 90’s, I would have laughed stepping over the dropped body while checking my pocket for some Extra gum and Chapstick……grape flavor. Though I don’t condone violence, I just handled my shit. And now I handle it differently.
Those Cyndi Lauper lyrics ring true in my head about girls just wanting to have fun. It soon became replaced by the ghostly lyrics of the late and beautiful Jim Morrison of The Doors and backed up by the swoon worthy words of the also late and great Otis Redding. I found such a love and desire for music. It gave me more comfort than a longer than normally allowed chat on the phone curling the chord around my finger tucked away in the corner around the wall from the kitchen. It was my way to express myself next to the buttons on my jean jacket or the posters on my walls or the shoes on my feet with mismatching socks on purpose before it was cool. Bracelets up to my elbows and rings on my fingers and jewels in my hair. Funky t-shirts always and movies to quote from on the play ground. That was me then. Not a whole lot has changed just maybe the music went from pop to classic rock to 90’s grunge but the love stayed the same and was recycled over and over. Through break ups and make ups and my first car to my minivan from my mom, all sticker slammed and driven responsibly, minus my Grand Am that I had and ran over 2 mailboxes while completely plastered and on a couple pain pills back in my early 20’s. That is an entirely different story but makes up part of my now story.
Teenage day dreams fueled by poets sublime and the masters of history and romance through the written word were my drug of choice next to music and maybe a little experimentation back in the day but that was “normal” then. I toted a notebook and pen where ever I went in my tie dye and chucks or my rugby shirt with my beaded necklace and button fly Gap jeans. I was finding myself before I knew I needed to look. I was me all the time. Weird and honest and never afraid to tell you how I felt. Just ask me. I wasn’t much for showing off the goods as some girls did but I also wasn’t afraid to love and that lead me to starting things a little earlier than most but that again, is part of the story. My therapist that I had to see in high school said I should date 10 guys to see what it’s like. I said “um, that’s not a good idea for me”. He said “well you don’t have to sleep with them all you know ” and I said “I know that, but they don’t and because I already put out to one person they all assume they are next in line”. He didn’t get it. Typical. Again, all part of the story. So when my husband and I talk about Adler’s future and we have discussed his may or may not be able to procreate situation due to treatment and other illness issues and prolonged medications, we hope he can at least get some one day. Yea, we said that. You know at an appropriate age, but it is something we discussed especially because he is half me and I liked boys……I still do. Have you seen my Facebook and Instagram? Tall dark and British, well, I mean anything British really or just anything Tom Hiddleston or Robert Downey Jr. works. God does that work…….trailing off now…….and um, ladies it’s ok to like sex. You should. It’s healthy and natural and it feels good. And when you have given up smoking, caffeine, drugs, booze and your on a diet lord help me if I couldn’t have an orgasm. (Sorry mom and dad!)
And that is another thing about this middle aged shit. Is it me or is it like we get one last chance at being hot? Being and feeling sexy? I think it’s because I have come into being my own person and knowing just who I am that gives me the confidence I need to feel comfortable in my own skin. Even when I feel there is way too much skin because yes, I gained weight and had a baby and that weight left and then came back and now I am battling to get it off again when all I want is a huge pile of mashed potatoes and gravy with biscuits on the side and huge glass of chocolate milk with a fabulously iced cupcake for dessert all served to me directly from a young Jude Law or Ewan McGregor…..shirtless. Ugh, the diet. The ever present diet. Fuck. I am so middle aged.
Work out, drink this shake or that shake and do yoga to calm my racing thoughts and pop a Xanax to sleep and dream of when I could eat sour cream and onion potato chips with a Coke for breakfast and grab a Hostess anything and it didn’t go directly to my gut or thighs. I had a rocking 6 pack for a long time. Then I quit smoking due to my heart along with caffeine and starting putting on the pounds. They say that’s normal. But man, I didn’t like it. And who are the assholes that say you lose it in your boobs first? That is not the case for my 38 DDD breasts. It never has been. I could do with big titties. Just saying. Sure they got me shots back in the day when karaoke was cool and everyone would belt out Alanis Morriset’s “You Oughtta Know” and suck down about 6-8 beers but they were never my thing. Honestly, I didn’t show them off much because that wasn’t the attention I was going for and when I did, it worked, and I was always so stunned by that. I wanted to be known for my personality and then surprise the guy with my freak in the sheets talents. (Again, sorry mom and dad.) And my body was lovely. Nothing to shy away from. What I wouldn’t do to have that 22 year old body back. I sigh and shake my head. My middle aged head. Ugh.
But I am a mom, a wife and a pretty good friend to some and I do my thing. All my thing. It didn’t take long to find myself and once I did, I liked her a lot. The 12 year old me with a perm and peace sign earrings or the 17 year old me watching X-Files and reading Longfellow at night or the 22 year old highlighted hair me saying “just one more drink” to my girlfriends at the bar to the 26 year old me saying “I do” at my wedding with my Hello Kitty underwear on under my gown and my Cheshire Cat socks and my something blue chucks to the moment I peed on the stick after we sat down and planned to have a baby with our one shot at this attitude and I couldn’t wait to be Adler’s mom or Gertrude if he would have been a girl, to finally crying about his diagnosis alone after I hung up with a friend sitting in the bamboo garden at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago to now, appreciating all that has made me who I am and what I am sitting in the silence of my home with the lava light just starting to bubble and the rain peppering the patio out back as I look out our sliding glass door. Fuck it, I am middle aged, but I think I am rocking the hell out of it if I don’t say so myself. Tattoos replaced the rainbow of jelly bracelets and lipstick is my addiction now at just over one year sober and books and movies are still my entertainment and poetry is read nightly to our son and music is medicine in our home. So all those “me’s” add up to the me now and I like her. She’s pretty fucking rad and that is said not in arrogance but in acceptance. It is what is and time is precious and reality is now, even if it’s middle aged.