They are screaming and running up to me, punching each other and throwing each other to the floor. “Stop it now!” They don’t listen until I pull them off each other and send them on their way. Welcome to the middle years, welcome to the mayonnaise and mustard years of motherhood. It’s sort of like that … a condiment stage, where maybe you aren’t essential to the sandwich quite as much as you’d like to be. You need to be there to make everything function,but you don’t get the recognition you deserve.
Maybe this isn’t just about middle stages of mothering, but the middle stage of life. The time where you start to look in the mirror and recognize that things aren’t getting better, you really are getting old. This is reiterated by the age spot that popped up randomly on your hand, by the fact that you work with people born at the time you were at college, by the fact that you appreciate a good vacuum more than most things in life. No one wants to think that their life could be bettered by the power of the Dyson Animal Ball 2 upright, but in the middle it can be and it has.
The excitement of being a newlywed is gone, the joys of firsttime parenthood have vanished, sending your little ones off to school that’s all done… so you sit in the land of homework, packing lunches, and shuttling to sports events. Have you peaked in your career? Are you where you think you’ll sit to retirement? Is there more or will this be how life is for a bit?
I thought of this post most of the day and couldn’t get it started. Then I had to stop and think about the joys of the middle.. the being able to sleep in, to travel without gear, to watching my children evolve into empathetic beings that can be thoughtful to the fact that my work day was challenging, the fact that my children still have grandparents around , that we can still laugh together and dance around the kitchen without them being too cool. I think instead of sitting and worrying about the next stage and what it will bring( more sass, aging parents, and worrying about the troubles of having teens) , I will enjoy being the mayonnaise… the supportive sauce that brings the sandwich together.