Today was another ECFE day. When coordinator Cathy asked me how it was going. ("I mean how are you adjusting.") I answered that it was quite the adjustment as Brent and I had been heading toward retirement or at least empty nesting and now we had a new baby. The girls eyes glazed over and then they went right on as though I were not there pouring my little heart out about how difficult it has been to have such a U-turn at this point in my life. Well, I don't really blame them. When I was 22-28, I could have cared less. When I was 22 I could not imagine life after 35. It never, ever, ever occurred to me I would be pulling preschool duty after age 40. And yet here I am.
Remember in Genesis Sarah's reaction to the news -- straight from God's messengers -- that she would have a baby by the time they came back next year? She laughed. What kind of laugh I wonder. Joy? Bitterness? Hysteria?
Garrison Keillor in Sunday's newspaper (http://www.tmsfeatures.com/tmsfeatures/subcategory.jsp?catid=1945) wrote that becoming a parent again toward the end of your prime child bearing years brings a particular sweet sadness and heartache. (He says it much better and more subtlety than this.) I think he means to say that one is so much more sensitive to the preciousness of parenthood when you have one beyond age 35. There is so much more to give and yet less time to give it.
Part of me wants to shout at these girls, "You fools! Stop whining! It's over too soon. Watch it! Soak it up! Do what you can before it's too late!" But I know, too, that it's a long night with croup and the freedom they felt not so long ago seems miles away right now.
Good heavens, I've made myself cry.