This past weekend I got together with some friends — all mothers, all tired, but all a part of a group that used to be tired on a Sunday not because we had gotten up at 5:30, looked at more poop than we really cared to, made breakfast, found the yellow train (which apparently was more important than the green, red or blue ones), took out the trash, planned dinner, pretended to be a monster, and made up a song about a sippy cup to stave off a tantrum. In the good old days, we were tired because we had been out until 3:30 am. Ha. As we were talking, we realized that we don’t really have any photos of ourselves after The Children — no more, the crowding with our arms around each other every time we get together to commemorate the occasion, smiling, holding up our drink at the camera. Now, the pictures we all take are of the kids doing something — not even necessarily cute things, but just being (which, albeit, is very cute, I must say). And then we realized that it might just be better that way. Better that our photo albums of ourselves end when we cared about brushing our hair, when we had the time to try on three different outfits, instead of finding the one with the fewest stains before running out the door, before the dark circles and worry lines and brow furrows. We’d like to pretend that we look — and feel — the way we did in all those carefree photos at people’s weddings, at random nights out on the spur of the moment, at house parties where we had the energy to make small talk with people we didn’t know.
It reminded me of the site “My Parents Were Awesome“. It is, naturally, awesome. And it makes me a little nostalgic. It’s all photos that people have submitted of their parents before they (the offspring doing the submitting) were born. It shows dads hanging with Ella Fitzgerald, and crazy Halloween costumes, and carefree vacations on the beach. I hope that someday, when we’re haggard and careworn from a lack of sleep and a surfeit of worry, Darwin looks back at old photos of his folks, and realizes that we used to be a lot of fun. We weren’t always the people worrying about fiber and coupons and sensible shoes.
It reminds me of a Paul Simon Song, “That Was Your Mother:”
“Well that was your mother
And that was your father
Before you was born, dude,
When life was great.
You are the burden of my generation.
I sure do love you, let’s get that straight.”
Indeed. Excuse me while I take my Geritol, look up irritable bowel syndrome on WebMD and watch The Price is Right.