Recently, I've been having these days of nostalgia. I like to call them . . . well, The Days of Nostalgia, really. I know that's not very original, but I'm sort of jelly-brained at this point in my life.
Mother's Day was pretty not-great for me. Erick caught a cold and spent the day sneezing and sleeping. Lizzie was her usual out-of-control, wild child self. All I wanted was a nice day that started with a cheese omelet, fried potatoes and a slice of toast, which I demanded my germ addled husband prepare for me (he did too, poor thing). Then I wanted Lizzie to hand me a card scribbled with purple and brown and black crayon--always her colour choice trifecta--which she didn't. No homemade card for me. :( Next, I wanted to go to my mom's house with my whole family, grill up some burgers and hot dogs and eat on her sprawling front porch. Unfortunately, it was 25 degrees on Sunday, so we ate inside. Plus, Erick opted out of dinner because of his cold. On top of all that, I re-aggravated an old back injury (multiple car accidents + a klutzy fall down a flight of stairs = gimp) sometime the week before, so I've been in agony for days. Nothing helps with the pain, so I'm just muddling through my day to day activities. Sitting for long periods of time is almost like I'm enjoying this medieval Chair of Torture:
So, I was getting Lizzie into the car on Sunday to head over to Mom's (after frantically realizing 10 minutes before we had to leave that I hadn't had Lizzie make Mom a card and forced my poor daughter to "COLOUR MORE!" on a piece of writing tablet paper) and I saw this face in the car window looking back at me:AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!
"Holy shit!! Who's that old lady??!!" I thought before realizing . . . . "Oh. My. God. That's me."
Pain, exhaustion, stress, and a recent bout of depression (aka The Bad Place or My Black Mood) had aged me beyond my years. I saw flyaway frizzy hair, crow's feet, a furrowed forehead, double chin, clenched teeth (against the pain of lifting Lizzie into her car seat), and an outfit I would have never worn out of the house if I still lived in New Jersey (baggy jeans, old white shirt, white socks and my blue Crocs).
How could this have happened to me? How could I have fallen this far?
I drove over to Mom's 5 minutes away, playing the usual car games with Lizzie ("Up, up, up, up, up the hill! Down, down, down,down, down the hill!"), but thinking back to my Pre-Lizzie Days:
I had a job I didn't love, but didn't hate it either. A place I went everyday and sat at a desk and laughed and gossiped with the girls I worked with. If I wanted to sleep until 11 am on the weekends, I could without feeling guilty about sticking Erick with taking care of Lizzie when I should be up, doing Mommy things like making her breakfast. Music played in my house wasn't sung by The Backyardigans, Mickey Mouse, or Dora. I could go to the store and not have it turn into Expedition to Grocery Store (coming soon to a theater near you!!), with juice cups, extra outfits, diapers, wipes, toys, and crackers stuffed into my purse, leaving no room for my wallet or the grocery list. I was able to hold real conversations with real adults that start with the phrase, "Lizzie did the cutest thing last night . . . " My biggest fear was whether or not I was going to be able to get to Barnes & Noble and buy a few new books. The list goes on.
Now this is the part of the blog when I stop being Bitchy McBitterpants and gush about how I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever go back to those days because that would mean I wouldn't have my daughter. Well, I'm not that kind of mom. Given the chance, I'd go back and do a few of those days over again in a minute. Then I would come right back to my current life and sing "We're Knights, That's Right" and play air-guitar with Lizzie.
Nostalgia is a powerful draw. Any mom who says she wouldn't go back and do a few of her kid-free days over again is fibbing.