Because I’m living overseas, I’m learning to drive on the side of the road opposite to what I’m used to. Never mind that the steering wheel is also in a different place, and I have to drive stick shift (which I haven’t done in years.) Oh, and let’s add in roundabouts so I can be kept even further on my toes. I’m grinning as I type this. I’m not complaining, I’m just face to face with the reality that firsts do no necessarily end as I age: I’ve never driven a manual foreign car in a foreign country.
And I’m slightly (ummmm….a lot) on edge about the whole ordeal.
I’ve mentioned several times in my blog posts that when younger, we experience a lot of firsts and that it’s tempting to romanticize this time period: first kiss, first pet, first bike ride…lots and lots of firsts!
But getting older does not mean the firsts end. They keep appearing and therefore exposing my rosy view of firsts and bringing me down to where I need to be: reality. Then I can once again, bring balance to my thinking and appreciate where I am at in life, where firsts are not as frequent anymore.
My house is not child-proof.
A friend dropped by for a moment and parked her twins’ double stroller in my entry way. There they sat, strapped in, but still exuding plenty of cute grins and toddler sounds.
We turned our backs for barely a minute, and then the giggles and water splashing began, and it took me barely a second to realize what was happening. Like tiny Houdinis, the twins had twisted and wriggled and stretched their little hands out far enough to press the buttons on my nearby water dispenser. You can probably guess the rest of the soggy story.
Not having kids, I haven’t had the task of daily keeping small ones safe in a dangerous world. Well – that’s not true. I dash to do it for short spans when I have little visitors (which involves closing a lot of doors!). But it’s not a full time job.
I have the freedom of filling my home with items like candles, fragile home décor items, and cabinets that don’t need a sealing mechanism to puzzle little brains.
I know parents and guardians will tell me how much these small inconveniences are worth it. And I don’t disagree with them. But it’s freeing to have one less thing to worry about on a regular basis and to decorate my home (aka my “nest”) as I wish: it just makes things a little simpler to me. And I embrace it.
P.S. I’m never completely off the hook. I have a very curious Siamese who imagines the house his jungle gym.
Aging While Childless Entries: I want to help empower those who (for whatever reason) are living childless, so that they can further embrace their situation and find joy. A life filled with children is a life filled with treasures---but so is a life without children.
I think it’s pretty well accepted that there is a certain gullibility among children. Having less experience and knowledge than others, they can still believe in magic, Santa Claus, and fairy dust. Obviously with age, these beliefs typically go away. For that, I’m thankful, especially because I was incredibly naïve as a child. As a result, I made life harder on myself than I needed too.
I remember the first time I watched the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at a friend’s house. The scene where Violet Beauregarde chews the bubble gum and blows up like a blueberry, I was terrified. Especially when Willy asks his assistants to roll her to the juicing department. Seriously, “the juicing department”? My frazzled brain could only imagine what happened there.
Later, I asked my Mom if Violet’s fate could be mine, as I loved a good stick of flavorful bubble gum. My Mom laughed lightly and said, “Oh….you…” I know her tone and response should have told me everything I needed to know about my situation: I had nothing to fear. However, she didn’t actually say it couldn’t happen, thus haunting me for some time after.
I can now have a good laugh over that situation, but I know in my heart I can still be naïve in some respects. Thankfully the older I get, the more it fades away.
Creator of Love, Auntie.