Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tween mom

I’ve hit an awkward age—closer to 40 than 30, but fit in with neither. My 40-year-old friends won’t allow me into their club until I reach that magic number, and 30-year-olds call me ma’am. I guess you could say I am an adult “tween.”

Part of this segregation has less to do with my actual age and more to do with my “mommy age,” i.e. how old my children are. Now days, my kids—my little ones—are considered older by moms of preschoolers. Recently on the church playground, several young moms chatted and bonded over the number of teeth their little toddlers had. As I watched my big kids play, I tried several times to make polite conversation and was promptly ignored.

So, bored silly since my kids are older and don’t need me much on the playground anymore, I made one last attempt to make friends by weighing in on the fascinating subject of children’s teeth.

“My baby’s teeth came in when he was three months old!” I said.

“Oh! You have a baby?” instantly becoming part of their inner circle. “How old is he?”

“He’s almost eight.” I replied.

I saw them give each other the eye and then resume their talk of bottle versus breast feeding. I decided it was best not to comment on that subject.

Another reason it’s hard for me to find my place among moms is that I have a daughter who can vote. If I tell that to moms with new babies, they look at me like I’m from Mars. On the flip side, some of my daughter’s friends’ parents are closer to my parents’ age. And here I sit in between.

Age is also an issue in finding a good health club. For the past year my husband I worked out at a gym where the average age had to be 70. I am not kidding. We lifted weights next to people who used canes, walkers, and even seeing eye dogs. It was quite inspiring, and I pray I’ll be able to do what do at that age, but I felt a little out of place.

So, now I’ve gone to the other extreme. I’ve joined a gym full of young, very young people. I think it will be good for a change. In fact, today was the first time I’ve sweated during a work-out in a year. My competitive nature took over as soon as I discovered my walking pace was no longer the fastest in the room. I may end up in better shape, but I’ll probably have to buy a t-shirt that reads, “Don’t call me ma’am!”

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