I had a Peter Pan moment over the weekend with former colleagues in town on business. We met for drinks at a hip and lively boutique hotel bar in San Francisco. The first woman to arrive was a friend I don’t get to see often enough due to distance. She always seems the same to me and laughs as easily as when we first met in 1988. (You have to imagine two 20-somethings in dress-for-success suits complete with loopy bow ties that were all the rage then.) The second woman, who was late arriving, fit more in the acquaintance category. I saw her in occasional staff meetings — the last time 12 years ago.
Engaged in reminiscing with my friend I looked up briefly to see a woman enter the bar across the room. She looked quite honestly like a well-coiffed older mom in search of her PTA pals. I smiled at the characterization and was ready to trade more memories when this very same woman waved in recognition to my friend and came over to join us.
Startled I wondered if others in the room would have pegged us as contemporaries. And then she dropped a bombshell. She casually mentioned that her oldest was now 19 years old. Talk about a reality check. My jaw dropped in disbelief. 19?! Tough as it was for me to comprehend on the spot, I’m now at an age where my peers can have children 19 years old while others still are getting pregnant or have kids in diapers or preschool. Now that’s range. And it’s also why infertility is something I find so hard to leave behind.
Complicating matters further in my mind’s eye I’m still, oh, 32. I possess the same the freedom l had in my 20s to grab drinks with friends at a bar any night I choose. No baths or homework to oversee.
This lack of structured routine over the years has fooled me into thinking I’m younger than I am. In one very real sense I have never officially “grown up.”
It’s not altogether a bad thing. Spontaneity returned in force when our infertility treatments ended. I’ve come to relish the freedom to come and go as I please.
Since two of the three of us around the table were not moms, our conversation moved quickly (and, I will admit with a bit of guilty pleasure, thankfully) to non-mom topics. We laughed as carefree as if we were all still 20-somethings.
It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror upon turning in for the night that I came to appreciate that gravity doesn’t discriminate between moms and non-moms. I did my bit to combat the effects applying an extreme helping of anti-wrinkle and firming cream to my face and neck. I’m guessing I’m not the only woman who doesn’t want to be mistaken for a PTA officer.
P.S. Thanks to everyone who left sweet comments and blogiversary wishes. Each one brought a big smile.