I hardly recognize his voice when he’s out of the room and speaking to me. It’s the voice of a man. Not the voice of my boy.
Wasn’t it just last week that I was the one leaning in too close to the mirror and picking at every little imperfection on my skin?
Was I not just navigating the halls of the high school, figuring out friend groups and locker combinations? I’m sure I was. But now he is.
I looked straight into my husbands eyes today and asked the question, “How on earth are we allowed to be the grown ups?”
We laughed belly laughs as we marvelled at the things we now do.
How did we get here? To this place of being the ones responsible. Weren’t we just days ago holding hands in his Honda Civic? Was it not mere weeks ago that he grabbed my hand at the Lenny Kravitz concert and I followed him as we weaved through the crowd?
Now Lenny Kravitz is simply known as Cinna. I sing the words to Let Love Rule loud in the kitchen and they have no idea that this was his first round of fame. Before JLaw was born, before Katniss was even a thought in an authors mind.
Now I lean in close to the mirror to examine the lines that surround my eyes and indent my forehead. Where did these come from?
I stand in front of the mirror and examine the new location of things. I pull my skin tight remembering how it once looked. How my cheeks use to be round, the days before the cheekbone.
I feel betrayed by it all.
It’s not because I fear getting older or the sagging of my skin. It’s just that it doesn’t match how I feel.
It doesn’t line up with how in love I feel with my boyfriend. Er, husband. Of 17 years.
I doesn’t line up with the way I still dance around the kitchen and belt out whatever’s playing at the top of my lungs into the spatula. But now there are 3 little faces staring on smiling. Joining in. Telling me to watch their moves.
When the veins in your hand get eerily close to the surface of your skin don’t you stop doing these things? When the trends of the teens are the ones you wore when you were a teen, is it not time that you understood things like politics and taxes?
My insides tell me I’m still young. Still fun. Still a tad bit irresponsible but only enough to be able to laugh at myself and call it a quirk.
But I look around and I see a boy teetering on the edge of manhood and he looks at me and calls me Mom. I see a home with gutters that need to be cleaned and patios to be swept and I still feel a bit strange that the paperwork says this is mine. Ours.
I look down at my feet and I see the same style of converse that I’ve worn for decades and I realize that I’ve slid my feet into the wrong ones because they’re one size too small. Because they aren’t mine, they’re my childs. My babies shoes who look just like mine except they squish my toes just a little.
We have these little people who come to us and tell us their tummies hurt and it’s like they truly think we know why. We have these boys who ask us why they can’t go to a certain friends house and we say strongly, with conviction, because it just isn’t okay with us and inside our minds we just pray we’re making the right choice. We have these lives that we’re shaping, pouring into, nurturing and we plead with God that we’re not screwing it all up because aren’t we just kids ourselves?
Of course we’re not and the years have taught us much and the grey in his beard shows it. And of course we’re not because the teenagers pouring out of the highschool look like babies. And of course we’re not because now we have hips and scars and smile lines etched deep around our mouths. And of course we’re not because its their turn, not ours, to be the ones who know it all and are filled with passion and ideas and a knowledge that they will change the world.
We’re not quite there but I feel it coming, that time where the torch gets passed. When the ones we call children become adults and they are unleashed on the world, into education and careers and marriage and philosophical conversations about this age they live in.
Of course, it’s not like our time is up, but our turn for that will be. When we pass the baton and we let them live out their dreams and run their race. When it will be their turn for family and first homes and figuring out the future.
And we’ll sit back and we’ll say, “Weren’t we just….?”