I just realized that I'm old.
Like, this just happened no more than five minutes ago and the realization hit me like a mack truck. Old. Older than dirt. Just plain washed up. One minute I was up; way up, then like Newton says, I came down for the count.
How did this happen? When did this happen? I did not OK this sh*t...somebody pinch me because I'm dreaming.
Let me explain.
Five minutes ago I was in the car with Frick and Frack on the way to school. Frack gets dropped off first, then it's Frick's turn. As Frack is exiting the car, I say to him, "Hey, since the Seniors are gone from the high school, I think you are now officially a freshman." I say this because his sister reminds us, almost daily, that since the seniors are now out of school, she is officially a "junior".
"Not really mom," she says. "He's still in Middle School." Whatever....God forbid she throw him a bone here....
So Frack tells Frick that she's a jerk, and then he slams the door and he's off to school for the day. We proceed on to the high school. As we pull up to the drop off point, Frick triumphantly announces that at this time next year, she will be driving to school. (because at her age EVERYTHING revolves around getting her licence)
"Oh yes," I say, as I matter of factly contemplate the driving rules of the high school. "You will be driving to school because you'll be a junior, and only upperclassmen are allowed to take their cars to school."
Then she drops the big bomb.
"No mom, because this time next year I will officially be a SENIOR"......and she shuts the door and goes on her merry way......
The word SENIOR hangs in the air like the sulfur from a burnt match. I suddenly feel as if I can't catch my breath, and my extremities are instantly numbed and paralyzed. As I sit in my car, unable to move, thoughts begin racing through my mind at a lightening speed and a tsunami of emotion washes over my motionless body.
According to her, she will be a ....don't say it. Don't think it......If I squeeze my eyes shut really tight, do you think it will go away? Will it??
Oh. My. God.
My baby girl will technically be a "Senior" in high school one year from now. When the HELL did that happen? I had to take a deep breath. I didn't say she could grow up. She never asked me if it was OK to technically become a SENIOR next year. And what? I just have to sit by and take this crap? Somebody stop this ride because I want to get off! Right now!
And then it hit me like a driving foul ball at Fenway Park on a warm July evening; I'm old.
It's all over for me. I'm not going to fight it. I'm going to break out the rocking chair and the orthopedic shoes, because my time has come. Do you think Louboutin makes orthopedics with a red sole? Just because I'm old, it doesn't mean I have to change. I can still be stylish. So what if my designer purse will now be filled with rumpled Kleenex and Splenda packets.
And just as I am about to give in to the old that is climbing up my body like a greedy choke vine, my mother comes to my mind.
The woman who taught me everything about who I am.
The woman who has been a shining example of motherhood and style.
The woman who everyone marvels at and wonders how she still looks so great.
And I realize that old is nothing. There is nothing old about my mother. She laughs every day in the face of old and wins.
I realize that I have been blessed with good genes and the chutzpa to flip old the bird.
And my breathing returns to normal.
And I think about Frick as a senior.
And a smile creeps across my face, as I remember the excitement of my senior year.
And as I push the lump in my throat back down into submission, I whisper to myself quietly,
"Bring it on."