Every cloud has a silver lining, right? I keep telling myself this fact as I search the heavy rain filled cloud of middle age, hoping desperately to find the sun’s rays illuminating a breathtaking blinding silver line etching the borders until you have to look away. So far, I got nuthin’.
And so as I ride home this gorgeous spring evening with The Mister, I begin to tell him how the heaviness of the dark cloud of age feels like it has settled on me, especially today. You see, my tiny Baby Girl that I wrapped in a soft fuzzy pink blanket and rubbed her sweet bald head went to her senior prom on Friday night. In less than a week she will turn eighteen and in less than a month she will graduate from high school. Gulp. This was only magnified in my mind this weekend as I watched two young kids celebrate their baby girl that will come to live with them this September. I watched her tiny baby bump and listened to her excitedly talk about whether the tiny bubbly feeling she has just begin to feel was a baby kick and I smiled. I remembered that feeling. A little secret just Baby Girl and I had……
I tell him how I woke up last night in a soaking sweat but not from a bad dream., No I awoke from a hot flash in which I felt the back of my neck singe from some strange inner heat that exploded down my arms and made me feel as if I was suffocating and drowning all at once. I told him how I simply cannot read or take out sutures on my patients without the help of Big Lots “sassy glasses” in an rx of +1.75. They come with a cute black and white case to make us feel somehow hip and young, but I have come to the realization that passing off reading glasses as hip and young is like dressing a donkey in ruffles and trying to pass it off as a preschooler. Tonight as my patient asks me to read a pill bottle and I try as hard as I can to hold it at arms length and untangle the blurred letters that mesh into a mish mash of squiggly lines, I finally realize my glasses are on my head and only then with them on can I decipher the label.
I tell him how hard it is to lose weight these days. How I try and try, but the pounds seem like cement and my metabolism seems to have just quit. It has sat down on the side of the road and wait for the paddywagon to come by. I remember how running used to give me the luxury of sweets or fast food and now it seems I cannot outrun my fork.
He doesn’t say much, just nods every now and again to let me know he is listening, or at least hearing me talk. He pats me on the knee. There is not a whole lot he can say to sympathize with me and he knows that sometimes I just need to say it….all of it… and sometimes I just need him to listen.
It’s an hour later, we are sitting in our chairs. I am knitting and he is watching ESPN. He looks at me and smiles. He says, “Baby, I don’t know ’bout you, but I sure am glad this is our life and we aren’t havin’ to help some little yungin’ over there at that table with their homework.”
Leave it to The Mister to look on the bright side of middle age. Yep Mister, I’ll take a hot flash over math homework any day of the week.