Becoming a mother while on a midlife journey, I enjoyed connecting with an amazing tribe of women going through the same things at the same time. We had a group that joined each other for activities with our little ones and many of our friendships endured as our children grew up. I loved having mothering mentors; I knew I wanted to do things differently than my mother had.
By the time I had my second son, I wanted more. I wanted a group that was less “What kind of diapers will prevent a blowout?” and more “Did you read the latest in the news? What do you think?” I wanted connection and conversations to alleviate the isolation that so many mothers of very young children feel.
So I started one. We still had playdates, but our conversations were deeper, maybe more interesting, and more enduring. As a former civil rights attorney, conversations about social justice were some of my favorites. I’ve loved continuing those conversations here as Musings From A Midlife Journey.
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I pounded out some tough thoughts about why political correctness has not gone awry. It’s actually something else entirely.
“Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pegoratives and sexual pegoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are all things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. The get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally into you.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
I stared at my face in the mirror. I wasn’t sure if the beauty of midlife was a myth or a joke. As I stared, I put my hands on my cheeks – almost as if I was touching them for the first time. I stretched my cheeks back, like I’d had a facelift. I giggled – definitely not my jam. But still, I’m smack in the middle of life now, and I feel something really big coming…And I’m sure it’s not a facelift.
I’ll be honest. My “expectations” about having children were almost nonexistent. Before mothering boys, my experience with children was limited to holding a baby. Once. For five minutes. So I was a pretty blank canvas. When I found out that we were having a boy, my first thought was terror: “Somebody has made a mistake! I can’t even catch a ball!
This child who made me a mother is stretching mightily to reach a level of maturity that I’m not ready for him to reach. He’s crossing into a place where each new level of maturity takes him one step away from me and one step closer to a young man. Other in between times have taken him from one level of maturity to another as well – but it was always under my watchful eye. Now, he’s stretching to reach a place beyond my gaze, beyond the safety of my watch, beyond me, and beyond needing me.
My heart aches.
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