Time May Change Me...

There may come a time in a modern mother’s life where, in the space of a single year, she finds herself resigning from her job, taking up tennis, renovating a kitchen, fretting far too much about homework and children's activities, wearing ballet flats, doing some yoga, and turning 40. Am I turning into a stereotype? She may think. Do I look exactly like everyone else? (Because they’re looking kind of old, like 40ish.)

Then, on a night out, a “ladies night out for a cause,” she may meet another mother (a friend of a friend) who has also taken up tennis, resigned from a job, turned 40 and renovated a kitchen, also in the space of a single year. To the outside world, they may seem the same; their cares, their interests may seem narrow and boring.  But the modern mother can shrug, and enjoy the moment of making a new friend, knowing that though they may seem identical from a distance, we all have rich, varied, nuanced lives. Besides, in the classic phrasing of David Bowie, "Time may change me...." Or, everything may change again in the space of another year, and who knows how?

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Things will change, and it's all good.

Capability said...

First, if you are forty, you are so young (take it from someone - ahem - much nearer to the other end of her 40's)! You are a young person at 40. Talk to me when you get closer to 50 and we will compare bone density results or something.

Carolyn said...

I would have loved if you mentioned something else from the event - Maybe how wonderfully mannered mothers join together to support an important cause - I can't imagine anything more polite!

Elizabeth Baxter Butcher said...

"...but I can't trace time"

Meanwhile, every middle school girl I see looks exactly alike to me and let's hope we will not be revisiting those years in our 40s!

Elizabeth Hammond Pyle said...

Oh Capability, its not so much the age, but the becoming a walking stereo-type that bothers me.

And.. bone density results, mammograms, colonoscopies ... better, or worse than tales of toilet training? My guess: a toss-up, and also unavoidable.

Before we know it we'll all be discussing hip-replacement surgeries.

Kate said...

i guess there are certain rites of passage in modern motherhood! you haven't really lived until you've been through a kitchen remodel and eaten out of a microwave in your basement for 3 months.

Elizabeth Hammond Pyle said...

Kate, so true! And there are so many more, "you haven't lived, if you haven't..." in motherhood. Back when I had a job, I used to say you haven't lived if you haven't taken a conference call from home with a sick toddler by your side!

Capability said...

I have been through a lovely kitchen remodel, have worn ballet flats and while driving my Volvo station wagon with my two children and goldendoodle and with loud (kid's) music on the radio (on the way to a children's activity) considered that I might be a stereotype in motion. Then I laughed at myself and moved on. You are thoughtful, lovely and do have a rich, varied and nuanced life. The other stuff is all frosting.

Elizabeth Hammond Pyle said...

I know, I know. I am happy, stereotype or not, so there must be a reason so many of us enjoy tennis/ drive volvos/ wear ballet flats. Maybe I should think about a goldendoodle... kids have been asking for a dog.

Elizabeth Hammond Pyle said...

Carolyn - I missed your comment until now. (I don't know how!) You are so right! I did consider that the post is horridly navel-gazing and self-absorbed, the antithesis of the event.

For everyone, here is the organization that got me out of the house last week:
A Step Up: astepupma.org

And here is the organization we learned about:
Strong Women, Strong Girls: www.swsg.org

Hope to return to the topic in a post, a more out-ward looking, charitably oriented post.

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