Dude, where did my 30’s come from?

4 Jun

We’d like to welcome one of our newest, regular contributor to TTTM, Lorrie Spoering (or She’s a Girl with Glasses).  Either way, in these neck of the woods, we think she’s a rawkin’ 30’s mom and wife.

I woke up the day of my thirtieth birthday to screams.

No, this is not a set-up to a horror film. This is life with two small children.

For my birthday, in the middle of July, my husband and I had planned a special evening with dinner and my favorite band, playing at my favorite venue. It was almost fanciful for the birthday I’d spent months dreading, but the reality of the morning was: this was just another morning and someone had punched someone else over the remote.

I spent my twenties being terrifically impatient. I was insistent on Fate’s hand in life, but was not willing to let Fate take its own course. I wanted it now. As such, even at the age of twenty, I wanted to get married-have kids-have a career-buy a house, all in extremely short order. There was no precedence for this: I am the only child of a two-parent, middle class home, college educated, smart enough to get by most of the time, lucky enough the rest of it. I had no reason not to believe I couldn’t have all these things in due time.

As it is, I forced Fate’s hand and was married at twenty-one, the mother of one at twenty-four, mother of two at twenty-six. My oldest started kindergarten when I was twenty-nine. On my thirtieth birthday, waking up haggard from little sleep, my husband at work, two kids yelling and fighting in front of the television, I realized I forgot to spend any time in my twenties.

I don’t think my experience is all that unique. I know plenty of other young mothers who scramble to find a babysitter for that one precious night a month they get to go out and drink and stay out all night. I remember, vaguely, a little time before I got pregnant with my first child, spending all day in a coffee shop with my laptop and pack of cigarettes before returning home to change my shirt, brush my hair and go out to my favorite bar. I was cool, possibly, for a split second.

It’s not the coolness I miss. I’m the first to step up and say that my coolness was not only short-lived, but only barely hip at all. I’m not so sure I miss the parts of my twenties that revolved around drinking and smoking and using dimes and nickles to pay for gas.

In my case, I miss who I think I could have been. I realize now who I am, and that the same woman lived in my twenties, but I was too busy pestering Fate to get to that life I wanted, I never let anything else happen. This is not to say I regret my marriage or my children, but it seems, in retrospect, I could have done a better job of taking care of myself. It’s only now, the old lady at the concerts, the out of place mom at the playground, that I’m finally getting around to it. And, really, it’s probably not nearly as much fun as it would have been when I was 22.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it would have been worse. Maybe I was, in the end, destined for this life, that Fate played me like a banjo. And maybe I should remember my thirtieth birthday for what it was: just another day in my life– and be plenty happy with the hand I was dealt.

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2 Responses to “Dude, where did my 30’s come from?”

  1. Suzy Reid June 4, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Yes, she is most definitely one rawkin’ mom and writer!

  2. Mo June 4, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    This really made me love you. More than I already do.

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