A strange part of being a young Mom is that all my friends went on growing up in a normal speed around me. I however, married young, got pregnant young, and am now growing my family young too. This usually doesn’t hit me, I don’t notice the age difference in huge ways. I have gravitated toward people who are older than me nearly all the time. Growing up with siblings that are far older than me (9,10 and 13 years) I have always felt more comfortable with people who are older than me. But in college I made a tight group of girlfriends who were all my age or younger. We were close in the way that only college girls can be.
Drinking together, sharing secrets and sobbing over family-boys-futures-traveling-dreams-jobs-and everything that felt life and death at the time. We were making memories that were hazy with rum but only ours and could only be referenced with a knowing look of “you had to be there”. We were inseparable. Creating theme parties each weekend, texting and messaging all the time, experiencing the bars together in the way that is only possible if you make it to last call, and we always made it to last call. Hugging, kissing, trading clothes and keeping track of each others phones-wallets-ID’s and safety nearly ever Friday-Sunday. I had that and loved those girls… then I got pregnant. Those girls became the incredible, beautiful fun aunties that every little girl could ever dream of. But, we did grow into different directions.
They are becoming professionals, pursuing further education, figuring out long term relationships, partying, staying out till dawn and spending there hard earned money wherever they want to (as well they should!). I am staying home, haven’t been drunk in over three years and haven’t danced till I got kicked out of the bar in even longer than that. I am cleaning poop off of the floor, preparing tiny meals for a picky little girl, rocking in a 50 year old chair in the wee hours and all day long too, my body isn’t my own and hasn’t been for a few years now, I am aching and sore from growing a baby and getting ready to face birth (again).
It is easy to feel that the grass is greener. I miss that life sometimes, I miss being the age I am- even though I am it. Does that make any sense? I am 25 and living the life of 30-35 and missing what being “25″ means today. Most of the time I don’t really think of it, I have incredible Mama friends now who “get it” when I say I am tired. Who understand what an “all nighter” really is. I have friends who understand just how important one glass of wine can be and know how ever life giving a single hour alone in a coffee shop can feel. But I miss my girls sometimes. I miss what I am not anymore.
It is hitting me hard today. Because today is one of those rare days that only happens in movies, a day where I know exactly where I would be if I hadn’t married Charlie and hadn’t gotten pregnant with Nolie and now Harbor. I woke up half in a dream that I was starting that day… and then my little girl padded into our room at 5:30am asking to “nurse a mama now? peeease?” and I lay and nurse for an hour wondering what I would have packed had today been the day it might have been…
I would have a Facebook status that read: 4 Hours to Vegas, Baby! and I would be prepping for my first trip to Sin City. I would have suitcase packed with tiny Forever21 dresses and sky high heels that I would likely lose in a bar or a long walk back to a hotel. I would have a tiny bikini and no sunscreen. A bottle of something hid away hoping I could get it onto the plane. I would have cash, so much cash (probably from tips from my waitressing job)- nearly all dedicated to Champagne and not much food (one buffet a day should do it, right?). I would have my journal and an easy way to lock my phone so that I wouldn’t call anyone when I had drank too much. I would have an iPod packed with Katy Perry and Aqua primed to get ready in the hotel room with far too much eye liner and just enough rum. I would arrive and be buzzed from the airplane, quickly change into something too low cut and tight. Then I would kiss my girl friends, drink a bottle of champagne while we reapplied too much makeup and walked out to whatever club we were starting at. And I would have, what would feel like, the time of my life.
I miss it in some way, I miss being that close and that … 25. Instead my 25 today has looked like this.
Mr. Rogers and scrubbing my bathroom with a tiny toothbrush. Praying and trying to observe lent however hard it is for me this year. Making coffee for the first time is six days because I have been too tired, exhausted, pregnant, and sick to make it to the kitchen for food let alone coffee. Cleaning out the tub because Nolie pooped in it and then wanted another bath. Stretching pants, that are at capacity, over hips that feel like they might just burst apart they are growing so wide. And eagerly awaiting 4pm when my knight will burst through the door and usher us out into the back yard to measure and plot around our garden. He will help Nolie on her big wheel and I will pull a few weeds till I have too many contractions and have to head inside for water and feet up. I may have half a glass of wine with a dinner my sweet husband will make. After dinner we will put the baby to bed, snuggle under the covers and possibly share some chocolate sorbet while we wait for the season finale of Downton Abbey to load and I talk at length about my day, and my thoughts and he will do the same. I will fall asleep with the same guy I have for the past, almost, four years. Kiss goodnight the same man I have for the past, almost, eight years. And in the morning I will remember it all and do it all again.
It is hard to know what I would be doing. It is hard to know what I am missing and it is easy to wish my life away. Wish for what feels and looks easier to me now. But I remember that time and it was far from easy, far from comfortable and far from what I wanted. I wanted what I have now.
I dreamt of this. I want this gem of a family, this cute and loving husband who cares about my wants and needs and growth, this girl who needs me and loves me without question, this kicking little Harbor in my womb who is pushing out and out more each day. I am living my dream but some days I need to write it all out just to remember that.
To my girls, have the time of your life. Have an extra bottle of champ for me (and make it strawberry if you can find it). Dance and bend in half on my behalf, but don’t get kicked out- unless it is the last night. And take a billion pictures so you can remember it more clearly, more crisp and more perfected. You will be Mamas one day and this trip will mean the world to you and the girls, no matter where we are- in stages and relationships, in geography and experience… we will always have memories and tonight you start a new one. Soak up this 25. I love you guys.