Sunday, April 26, 2009

not being old (conversation with Sheldon)

I think it's fair to say that Sheldon, hubby, and I are all pushing fifty. Sheldon and I talked about this and the fact that we don't feel old. (Hubby wasn't there so I don't know exactly his thoughts on this.) And why?

Sheldon has invented a life and career for himself which is not a job and doesn't have a salary and involves him reading and thinking and writing and watching and consulting (watching should probably have come first in that list) and he said he thinks from not having a job he doesn't feel old.

I said I don't feel old either - I don't have a job either but I said I think also from being female. I think about all the brand-new things I'm going to start when I finally turn sixty. This is a female thing to think, men I think expect to be deadish at sixty (men my age and younger; Daddy, Uncle John, if you're reading this, I know you're in a completely other place and have come out the other side - but men my age I've talked to over the years are not thinking about what exciting new things they're going to begin at sixty).

In my head though I was thinking: I'm also a mother. Hasn't that made me grown-up in all kinds of ways I never was before? (Sheldon noticed that I seemed to be more of a planner-ahead now than when he knew me before.) And of course it has. But here's the thought I thought to myself (the conversation out loud had gone somewhere else by then I think): 

can I hang onto and still believe in the fiction that I am twelve because the kind of mother I am is one who has sons? If I had daughter(s) would that be impossible? Would I be forced to face my age in a whole different way by the presence of a daughter - and why? Because she would be so obviously a young woman which I am not? Is it something else? Why do I think I can have an almost-grown-up son and still be twelve myself? 

These are the questions. No answers forthcoming just yet.

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