I have never worn scarves. I’ve admired the way people tie them, but it’s always seemed like too much trouble.
Carolyn, on the other hand, is a master of accessories–scarves, hats, bracelets, toe rings. Very, very creative. Me? Not so much. Until…
“Mommy? Can I play with that?”
“That under your chin.”
“What under my–”
Well. I seem to have developed turkey waddle, which makes me the best toy in the house. When I was my daughter’s age (almost seven), I played with my great-uncle’s elbow. He was in his sixties at the time. His elbow was like warm silly putty; I could stretch it, pinch it, tuck it into cool shapes. It made him laugh. I felt very happy playing with my uncle’s elbow. I am not feeling the same joy with my waddle.
Menopause makes you melt. Really, every day I have a new face. Is that on the list of 35 symptoms, Carolyn? It should be. It could scare our ovaries into continuing to produce estrogen.
When Libbi was four, she told me, “Mommy, I’ll take care of you when you’re old and crumbly.” I was only a year into menopause then, so I laughed. Now I have the daily reminder that “old and crumbly” isn’t so far off. Time’s marchin’ on.
When I was forty-two with a baby, I felt young. I thought menopause was years away (turns out it was only two years away). Now I need to do crunches for my neck, and I wonder if my daughter is going to be disappointed that she has an older mommy who looks like an older mommy.
On the other hand, I have perspective. I’m beginning to understand the value of looking at other people a whole lot more than I look in the mirror. And, I’m beginning to understand that when I do look in the mirror, I owe myself a smile no matter what.
After Libbi mentioned the state of my neck, she touched it very gently, stretched it out a little and smiled real big. She giggled. I giggled. It makes her happy, at least for now. We cuddled a long time.
There are advantages to being the best toy in the house. But I am also going to learn to tie scarves. Or maybe I can learn to think of my waddle as an accessory.