Tag Archives: older parents

BABIES OR BULLDOGS?

sleeping dogs and baby

When I turned 40, I stood before my husband, a large box under each arm.
“Pampers or Depends, sweetie, you pick. But one way or another we are heading towards diapers.”

A few years earlier, I had lobbied for French bulldogs.  So cute!  But we already had a dog, not to mention my father’s 23-year-old incontinent cat (we get a lot of incontinent animals), and my husband’s response was…not really printable.

So, I moved onto kids.  That day in Wal-Mart when I showed him our diaper options, I think he was leaning toward Depends. We’ll never know; I started gathering information about adoption the next day.
I had always wanted to adopt. I’m not sure why, but for decades the desire played like background music in my brain. I knew my child was coming to me via adoption. Child. Singular.  Tim agreed to ONE CHILD AND ONE CHILD ONLY, either homegrown or adopted.  And then he wheeled and dealt:  “I will say yes to two French bulldogs instead of one child.”  (He was a little nervous about the parenting gig at that point.)  I don’t blame him.

When we were in our twenties, he wanted two children. We were living in apartments (not very nice ones) at the time, eeking out bad livings as actors/couriers/waitstaff/reception/whatever we could get. When he said he wanted two kids by the time he was thirty, I thought, Suuuurrrrre. As if I’d become a mother under these circumstances. There’s plenty of time for that. Career was still far more important to me than motherhood. I was still far more important to me than motherhood.

And then my own parents died. And my uncle. And my aunt. That left me and my brother. Today is, in fact, the 18th anniversary of my beloved mother’s passing, Z”L (may her memory be a blessing).  At that point, Tim had lived through years of cancer and hospitals and my grieving.  He’d been gentle and strong and present for me, but he was tired.  We both were.  We needed a break and to get our happier lives back.  But when my parents were gone, I was thirty-five, and I realized that being a daughter was one of my favorite things ever. No career could come close to that feeling of unconditional love. I wanted it again, this time on the giving end.

We waited and we talked and we wrestled with the idea of a baby (if you read Carolyn’s last post, you know I do not make decisions easily…although not about clothes, Carolyn.  Please.  Look at my wardrobe.)  Nonetheless, at the ripe old age of 42 and 4o, respectively, Tim and I started the adoption journey.  And magic happened.  The kind of magic I think only God can orchestrate.  Carolyn and I got both got babies, and our lives truly began to intertwine.

–to be continued…

–Wendy

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Filed under Adoption, friendship, parenthood

Dem Bones

You know the movie An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr?  My mother showed it to me when I was a wee romantic thing, but if you’re not old enough to recall it, perhaps you’ve seen the remake with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty –titled Love Affair. And if you’re not old enough to remember that, then please Google PBS Kids while I take this moment to address my peers.

So, in An Affair to Remember/Love Affair, Deborah Kerr/Annette Bening falls in love with Cary Grant/Warren Beatty.   Alas, Deborah/Annette is already in a relationship, and Cary/Warren has never had a long-term relationship with anyone.  So they get it into their heads that if a suitable period of time goes by and they are still in love, they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building.  But when poor Deborah/Annette leaps from the cab to see if her lover is waiting for her, she runs smack in front of another car and BAM!  She’s paralyzed.  When her true love finds her and realizes she is injured for life, he asks, “What happened?”   She replies, “I was looking up.” (At the Empire State Building.)

Yeah, don’t do that.

Being the 48-year-old mother of a very energetic seven-year-old, I like to attempt to keep up.  I see the mothers of her classmates setting off on their morning bike rides after drop-off (they ride to the athletic club across the river where they work out for an hour or two before riding back home).  So when DD said, “Let’s chase fairies” after school one day, I set off on a jog after the fairies.   Over pavement, over lawns, over tree roots we ran, leaped and frolicked, pointing at the fairies flying over our heads until…BAM!  I fell.

I was looking up.

I broke my wrist and–long story short–it turns out I have osteoporosis.  Apparently, I’ve had it since I was 40, but missed the memo.  (I swear I thought the doctor said osteopoenia 8 years ago.)  Here comes the irony:  I spent most of my adult life trying to fit into a size 6.  For a dozen years (during my thirties and early forties), I was successful.  Apparently that was not such a good thing for my body.  The technician who did my DEXA scan 8 years ago told me, “If you weighed more, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Well, I’ve been through menopause since then.  I weigh more now.  I’m a size ten again, the size I was always trying to whittle down.  I’m getting another DEXA scan in a couple of weeks and if the bone density in my hip has not improved or is worse, I will get to wear hip protectors–AKA, PADDING ON THE HIP–when I do something physical.  That’s right:  All that dieting back in my thirties has brought me back to size ten hips plus EXTRA PADDING.  Oh, the irony!

Please engage in regular weight-bearing exercise, dear readers.  Eliminate sodas and reduce sugar consumption (without dieting).  Eat plenty of greens and whatever else you do, DON’T LOOK UP.

Wendy

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Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Health, Menopause, Motherhood, osteoporosis, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing