Monday, June 21, 2010

The Young One

For months I've been worried I was too young, if I was just 5 years older my life would compartmentalize easier. Then all of sudden, it became summer, the sun was out, my body is full of vitamin D, and life is good. I'm happy to be young. It's great. But this is the process that got me to the first day of Summer.
I was worried, that I had my first born too young. At the time I knew I was doing what was right for me and my husband in our lives. But then what happened over the last four to five years? Whats with all the questioning and doubting? My biggest fear recently is when my son graduates from high school, people will think I'm in my mid 50s not 40. So much so that I've been obsessed with the whole thing, like seriously overwhelmed that I was much to young to have a 4 year old. So much so that I loved my four year old, and what happy with him I just wished I was 5 years older. (I guess that is what happens, when you let vanity overpower inspiration.)
But after thinking about this for months, I've got a lot of conclusions. Everyone in my family but my little brother is older than me, anywhere from 5 to 13 years older than me. Which mean I was a little one, I was always too young, or had to go to bed or something. I hated being young, so much so I thought I wouldn't be able to love my first born children, and would only like my younger children. (Silly, I was young at the time).
I couldn't wait until we were all adults (most of my siblings were adults for most of the childhood I remember) and we would all be the same age, because when you are young, everyone that is an adult is old. After age 20, its all old, right? That's what you think when you are a kid. Then sometime in high school, I realized my siblings kept aging too, they were still all 5-13 years older than me. I would always be the young one. Ok, I could accept that. Plus now I had a niece or two, so I was the fun cool young hip adult. (Even if I wasn't legally an adult yet.) (I'm not the fun cool young hip aunt anymore, 5 years ago when I got pregnant the first time that all went out the window, never to return.)
I had accepted my place in life, I was the young one. I got married young, (not the norm for either my family or my husband's), but that was ok I'm the young one. I can do things young, because I'll always be the young one. I was young in my student married wards but that was ok, I was the young one in life. I was young when I had a kid and that was ok, because I was the young one. I had truly accepted my position in life, for the first two years of my marriage, I spent a lot of time around my husband's family and his younger brothers were on missions, so I was truly the young one. Especially since I'm only a year older than them. I was the young one in all my circles.
Then something happened I continued to grow up all our younger brothers came back to life, got home off their missions and I was no longer the youngest one. Now they are all almost married and I am no longer even the young girl, because all three of my sister in laws acquired in the last three years are younger than me. But that is not where my freak out point came.
I continued to grow up, we graduated from college moved and I found friends with kids my kid's age, and they were older than me, because I had a baby young, I was the young one remember. That was fine, didn't even phase me, but phased me was the young newlyweds moving into the ward, some were younger than me?! How could anyone be younger than the young one?! Some weren't as young as me, but some were younger?! It was hard to handle, someone was taking over my role in life. I just didn't think about it, I ignored it in the back of my head. Then we moved again. I found more friends who had kids my kids age, who were once again older than me. But I also found more friends, who were my age, but didn't have kids because even in Utah 21 is still young to have a baby. It was quite funny the day one of my friends realized we were the same age. She didn't say, I said it for her, but she looked at me like I was crazy when I told her my age. She thought I was so much older than her, I had a three year old and an infant, while she was only pregnant with her first. She was speechless, I said you can say it, you thought I was older than you. She said no, um, well, yeah, but, then just stared at me. I could tell by the stare she assumed I was sooo old in comparison to her.
My husband also had to come to terms with not being young. One day in Elder's Quorum someone asked who had been married the longest, everyone looked at him. He said, I'm not old, and the response was we know, but none of the rest of have kids, we didn't get married as young as you. (There were guys married longer than him, and ones with kids they just didn't happened to be there that day.) That took some getting use to for my husband, but not years like it takes me. We moved again, this time I got visiting teachers who were younger than me. They hint at me giving marriage and future children advice to them. I think what I'm not old, I don't give advice yet. But yet as one complains about her mother in law, I find myself giving slight advice, and holding my tongue and not saying, look get over it, you love your husband, he loves his mom, she can't be that hard to love, if she raised him. You are stuck with her for eternity by this point, so you might as well get over yourself now and enjoy the next couple of years.
So I might always be a young one in my family but apparently I'm not the youngest adults at church. That scares me, hence my new biggest fear, that when my son graduates people will think I'm 15 years older than I am. There are plenty of people in Young Single Adult wards that are older than me. Not to mention most other white middle class women would never think of having a baby before starting their career. What was I thinking when I had a baby at 21? Did the Lord lead me astray? I mean mentally I was getting to a freak out point, but I was trying to keep it under wraps. I almost started asking the question during my prayers, but never really did, maybe lacking the faith. I don't know.
I have a sister in law, with a very young mother in law, she says her mother in law so young, and is so active and just has so much fun. But see the problem with me thinking oh ok, is her mother in law has a lot of kids. I don't want a lot of kids, kids kind of drive me out of my mind. I would like more than I have but not much. How would I stay active and fun if I didn't have kids at home, when I was still young. Seriously I was mentally having a silent breakdown. I didn't want to have a lot of kids, I've never really wanted to have a lot of kids, I was born into a big family, but not raised in one, I only celebrated the holidays with them, and honestly they drove me bonkers being all together more than a week. I like my own space, I like things quiet, I like things clean. How could I have a big family and enjoy it being young? You need a big family if you start young right? I didn't want that. Or you are a teenager pregnancy single mom, I didn't want that either. I felt lost in a limbo, stuck in a class that no one existed in but me.
Then one night a few weeks ago, my problems were solved. I laid down in bed, next to my husband and thought how much I loved him. We both got annoyed at the other one earlier in the day, so my relief of him being by my side was more than other nights. It wasn't taken for granted, like some nights when I'm super tired. I thought I'm so glad I'm with him, and all the time we have been together. Then it hit me. BANG! like a lightening bolt. Having a kid young, doesn't mean worrying about what other people think of me when he is high school. Its getting to spend more time with him. I mean heck I should be able to spend at least 65 years with my cute brown eyed boy. That sounds great! Plus I realized I don't have to have another baby anytime soon. Just because I'm "young and healthy" doesn't mean I have to pop out babies as quickly as reproductively possible, ahh the benefits of living in the 21st century in a developed nation. I love freedom. Heck I realized my son could be 8 before he gets another sibling, now doesn't that sound nice? Yes, I'm happy to be young, I'm perfectly content with my age, and my children's age. But that doesn't mean I don't feel too young to be their mom, but that's probably normal. Just like when my middle age young women's leaders told me they felt like they should still be in young womens. I thought they were crazy but now completely understand.
That also doesn't mean, I don't wish I could freeze my children right now in their ages, get rid of the cries, and keep them as sweet cute young kids, my babies forever. Before they ever become awful teenagers. Last night when I was talking to my dad for father's day, he said good grief when he saw the picture I put of them on his father's day card, he said, good grief they are getting big. Oh I'm so painfully aware my babies are getting big. But at least I'm still young.
My husband loves being young, he talks about retiring at 40. I don't believe him, I don't want to retire at 40, if we retire at 40 when do I get my career? The benefit of being young.

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