Lately certain concerns have been expressed by my teenage daughters. Concerns that lead them to question whether I am having a "midlife crisis."
Their concerns include the following:
1. Nail Polish: I have been painting my nails in fashionable, trendy colors
like emerald green and midnight blue
2. Skinny Jeans: I have some skinny jeans and I wear them tucked into boots
3. General Teen Scrutiny: e.g. "What's up with your hair? And those boots? And those shorts?
There are a few times in the past ten years or so (sadly) where I have felt like I've been in some kind of pre-midlife crisis--mostly times when I felt compelled to uproot my career and pursue something more "fulfilling."
But painting my nails--and wearing jeans, boots, and shorts--doesn't feel like an outlet for middle-aged rebellion or lost-youth nostalgia.
I asked Terri what she thought. Thankfully, she affirmed my assessment--stating that my nails and jeans seemed "like me," not like some desperate facsimile of me trying to reclaim a piece of my past.
Upon reflection, I had to agree with her. I think that my kids have just started to notice me. As a person. Not just their mom. I think they are seeing me as a woman who has a sense of self-expression and style that they just never noticed before. I think part of them actually likes it, but another part is kind of freaked out.
I don't exactly remember the moment I realized my mom was an actual person--not just some idea of authority and security that constantly buzzed in the background of my life like white noise. But I know that the realization led me to view my mother with more generosity than I had previously. I hope that my kids' realization will lead them down the same path--that this initial judgement and recoiling will give birth to understanding and appreciation.
But maybe that's just wishful thinking. Or, knowing me, I might be skipping right past midlife crisis and jumping straight into dementia.