Today I'm thinking about how old I am, which is 43. I don't really feel any particular age-it occurs to me that years are very arbitrary and perhaps rather a crude tether for our earthly lives and that we are simultaneously young and old at the same time sometimes. I think that must be why during some phases, time seems to go so slowly and during others, especially when it comes to my life as a mother, time passes so, so quickly. Yes, that is such a cliche, especially coming from an older mom. All the young moms read that and think, "She can't possibly remember the relentless, eternal endlessness of kids not sleeping at night, or doing laundry all the time or never having a minute to yourself." I remember. I really, really do. But then I blinked, and here I am.
Here I am on the other side of what really does feel like a blink, feeling philosophical about my oldest son's biggest step yet. It's the one that all the other steps have led to, in a way. It is the step that takes him permanently to his own, new home. Yes, he is getting married. I'm completely happy about it because it feels right. Some have already commented that I must be sad to be losing my son. Maybe it is my naivete, but I don't understand those comments. It is not a loss for me or our family, it is an addition, an abundance, a harvest, a gathering, a glorious new page in our story! It's the goal achieved, isn't it? Didn't we all know from the get-go that our kids don't belong to us-that they are their own? We're the teachers, the caretakers, the ones who show them how to become their own, but we never owned them. Knowing that always made my children feel more precious, not less. I always was odd.
He has found a girl that I don't know yet but in whose eyes I see love and laughter and life. Those are things that my son has, so I'm confident in his confidence in her. He has chosen to marry young and while still in school, which most people think is crazy, but which are things that I did, so even though I know what they're in for, I'm happy for their crazy bravery because they'll learn that happiness is a choice and there is no such place or time as "easy." Why not learn together?
So, there you go. A new family. He asked her on a California beach at sunset and they are planning on getting married in August. It feels as miraculous and thrilling to me as the day he was born.