Sunday night musings, theory on aging

Oliver is still cycling in and out of a slight fever. I'm sure you can imagine that I find the timing of this extremely unfortunate being that school is just about to start. Nonetheless, I'm zen and know he'll be eager for Tuesday morning's venture into his classroom. After our meet-and-greet this past week (which was actually just a marvelous reunion of sorts being that Jack had this same teacher when he was Ol's age, and we all just love each other a lot) during which time Jack and Ol discovered a fireman's hat with a mask and proceeded to each lay claim to it aggressively, Oliver has since made sure to let everyone know that he is thrilled to be a Teddy Bear because he will get to see and wear this hat every day for the whole year. Whatever makes your heart sing, I say! T and I had a quiet dinner, missed seeing our pals, and then took in some Real Time. Bill really seemed in a funk, but I can understand his immense frustration with a rightist conspiracy against fact and truth. How can you have a conversation, compromise, growth, basic respect, if you can't agree on facts. FACTS! Did you hear the one about the Fox reporter who said something to the effect of, "Paul Ryan's speech contained more outright lies than any convention speech ever." EVER! This became a top-trending headline, and then oops, the widget was removed, and no one could access the link anymore. Convenient. Like I said, the conspiracy against the propagation of factual information is frustrating.

The red beans and rice recipe is posted now if you feel inclined to make a hearty batch of comfort food. Yum! I also managed to get a double batch of watermelon rind pickles going- as they involve three separate, yet largely inactive, 8-hour periods, it's good to get a jump on them when the mood strikes!

Lastly, I'd like to turn attention to a working theory of mine regarding aging during the time of life in which you're parenting small children. I am not sure if there's a corollary of some sort for folks who aren't parents; if you believe there to be one, I'd love to hear it. In any case, here goes. I'm in my mid-30s, and my boys are 6 and 3. I keep myself up pretty well, try to stay relatively current with fashion and make-up, but the past few years have definitely taken a toll on the old skin and muscle tone. Good concealer is becoming increasingly important, the thighs jiggle in an unwelcome yet resigned way, I think more about how and where elastic cuts because the visual is less than appealing in certain instances, I continue to apply my moisturizer and Vitamin-E oil mixture nightly in the hopes of staving off a Saggy Baggy Elephant look before it has to be time.

It's a bummer in many ways, yet I look at a number of women in the stage of life just after mine, and I feel hopeful about a physical Renaissance. Their kids are 13 and 10, say, and many of these gals seem to have found a new glow. I find myself asking them for secrets, but as far as I can tell, it's simple rather than mysterious: they're out of the dependency trench into which they were sucked during their kids' early childhoods. As such, they're sleeping again, consistently and well. They've got some free time again because their children are at school, doing homework, in extra-curriculars and simply more independent. Life seems to slip back into a better balance, and in my opinion, it really shows. I feel tired and frazzled and downright haggard not infrequently which is just no fun. As you might remember Billy Crystal intoning years ago, it is better to look mahvelous than to feel mahvelous. Not always but sometimes those are really your only options.

Anyway, for me, it's a new way of envisioning the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps it's not a tunnel, but instead a series of hills and valleys, each rife with their own challenges but also their own periods of ease.

And with that, I'm sending myself to bed early. Aah!