Sunday, September 4, 2011

Forty Feels Tweenish



I'm lucky I had such an awful adolescence. It prepared me well for what forty feels like. Middle Age is Tween Age's sister transitioning phase. Middle Age and Tween Age exchange fountains or statues or some such symbols of appreciation for their connection.

Just as I stepped foot at the entrance of the tween years, I began menstruating. I may or may not be about to stick a toe at the ride's exit now that I'm forty. I haven't had a period in over seven weeks. I'm either pregnant or going through menopause. Excuse me while I go apply some acne cream and some anti-wrinkle cream to my face.

I was ten when I started and I may be forty when I stop. Both ages seem so young. Too young. When I was ten I was so physically mature I started getting hit on by men. Awkward! Possibly going through menopause at age forty seems similarly unfair. Like my body is racing ahead at a pace which my emotional compass can't compete. I wish my body could handle another baby. So many of my friends had an "Ooops!" baby. Not that they don't love their children. But they were surprised by their existence. I find myself surprised by my children's nonexistence. Katie is a wonderment. But I always dreamed I'd have more than one child.

When I was ten I wanted ten children. My friend and I would draw our future families over and over. Each time I was married to a grownup version of the boy I had a crush on in fourth grade. Our children lined up beside us in order by age, their names written carefully above their heads. I had on a "Little House on the Prairie" looking outfit, with an apron. My hair tied up. My husband had a beard and overalls. It was plain to see we lived in harmony with the earth and our children. Yes, I was late to the Hippie party given I wasn't born until 1970, but at least I still arrived.

At forty, I no longer want ten children. I mean I kind of secretly do, but no. No WAY. But I'd like a chance at one more. If it doesn't happen, we still have our Katie. But wouldn't a Katie-brother or Katie-sister be even more wondrous?

At ten I started getting acne. At forty I have rosacea. At ten my body was changing, developing curves in strategic areas I had up til then been unfamiliar were that big a deal. At forty, I've noticed my clothes fit differently. I have to unbutton the top button of my pants after a good meal much more often than I did at age twenty five, fifteen years ago, fifteen years after I began developing a waist. At the top of my hourglass hour.

I go to the doctor Wednesday to find out if I'm knocked up or drying up. I'm trying to still myself, to quit thinking of baby names, to quit pretending I'm prepping the room for an eventual nursery while cleaning and redecorating the guest room. But I know it's doubtful I'm pregnant, and that my body is just transitioning yet again, what with my history of sub-fertility, probably caused by PCOS, possibly caused by who knows what all--plastics leeching into our food and water, the DES medication my mother was prescribed during her pregnancy, too much soy in my diet--we don't know.

It's the not knowing that makes me fidget and overshare on my blog. I do not abide not knowing.