Just when I thought I've heard every insult known to man or beast (you should hear what my cat calls me!), I've been hit with another, this one more cruel, more cutting, more ... well, accurate ... than any I've heard
I am an "old mom."
I must admit that I am solely responsible for this condition. (Well, OK, maybe not solely, but the brunt of the blame is mine to bear; that's how childbirth works, right?) I mean, all along I knew I'd be an old mom. In fact, that's what I planned for and counted on. "I'm not having any children until after I'm thirty," I would tell my college roommates and, later, first-job friends. They'd look at me in disbelief and comment, "But, Mary, how will you keep up with them? By that time you'll be so, well, old!"
"I have too much to do before I'm ready for kids," I'd reply as they turned back to their "101 names for our future children" lists. "If I wait until after thirty, I'll be ready." It was as much prayer as promise.
But you know how it goes when it comes to kids. You can plan all you want, but they come when they're supposed to, and what can you do? When Courtney arrived, I was in my mid-twenties, not at all a "young mom," but still feeling a bit skeptical about the change of plans and priorities. I had to drain the measly savings I had accumulated (I was saving for a trip to London) because, after all, babies needed stuff ... and they needed it NOW. The trip to Beatles country can wait, but just try telling your infant daughter that she doesn't need a stroller, bassinette, Playtex nursers, and a year's supply of onesies right away.
But the bigger surprise came years later, at the birth of my youngest son, Max. This time, I was over thirty. In fact, I was so over thirty that my pregnancy was automatically classified as "high risk" due to "advanced maternal age". (That's a nice way of saying "what in the world were you thinking?") I was 35, an "old pro" at pregnancy, and a mom with (at that point) over 10 years experience under my ever-expanding belt (spandex of course ... I had given up belt with buckles and holes a couple of kids back).
But, despite my mothering resume and advancing age, I really wasn't much more prepared for Max than I was for Courtney.