Gone and Gone

Remember the movie, “Cocoon” with Wilford Brimley and Jessica Tandy where they think they discover the fountain of youth in a swimming pool?

These days I feel like I can relate.

I was flipping through a college pamphlet that came in the mail for my son. Inside, young people surrounded by brick buildings and trees turning yellow in autumn were walking happily to class. They looked ready for what life awaits them around the corner.

As I made my way through the campus of my future school (less than three weeks, but who’s counting?!) I came across a dining room filled with what looked like high school cheerleading squads. I remember being a cheerleader in high school and attending USC and Pepperdine University with my squads and thinking how much fun it was to stay the week in dorms. And I watched as these young cheerleaders cried in the hallway on their phones…and boy do I remember THOSE days too. One word: Drama.

Yesterday I went into Walgreens for a few things after getting my haircut. The salesperson checking me out asked, gingerly, if I had any discounts. “Huh?” I responded. “You know, like AARP.” She says.

Oh.

“No.”

Her response: “Well, um, do you qualify for AARP because if you do I can still give you a discount.”

Fuck the discount.

I ask her, “What age do you have to be to get an AARP card?”

“Fifty-Five, I think.” Is her reply.

Fuck. Fuck. And Shit.

I kindly tell her I am many, more than a few several (SEVERAL!!) years away from a stupid AARP card.

A few days ago I am on PinCrackTrest and I stumble onto site after site of mommy ideas. Fun things to do with toddlers. How to get your kids to bed at a decent hour. Cute classroom ideas for kindergarten. Fun kids lunch ideas. Mommy support groups. Images of young mommy’s walking with their strollers.

And I realized I am no longer that mom to really young kids anymore.

I’ve got two teenagers and one twenty year old.

Dammit.

Why does it feel sometimes that youth is just – gone in a split second? Wasn’t I just that cheerleader trying to make my squad get along despite 16 year-old drama? Wasn’t I just that mom of a kindergartener, a toddler, and a newborn struggling with clever ideas for potty training and creating ant logs out of raisins and celery?

I feel sometimes like I am stuck in the middle somewhere. Not a young adult heading to college anymore and not a young mother of young children anymore.

And I think back to that fountain of youth and you bet your sweet ass I would jump right in and splash until I could be young again…

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Drinking and Driving

I recently had a conversation with a friend who said her son would stay the night somewhere instead of driving home drunk and that it is a bone of contention with her and her husband. They both don’t like the idea of the boy staying out all night.

The boy is underage, after all.

However.

The discussion made me think of some of my less-than-stellar moments as a young adult.

Less.

Than.

Stellar.

But one night stands out.

My friend (who lived in Glendale, one town over) and I were drinking at her house. We were going to head over to my house (for whatever reason, I don’t remember) which involved driving down a curvy road to get to the freeway entrance and then it was one freeway exit away before you were practically at my front door. It took maybe 10 minutes to get down the “hill”/”canyon” – whatever it was – and then another few minutes on the freeway.

I can still remember the feeling of traveling on that freeway entrance. Drunk. I remember sitting close to the steering wheel, leaning forward, so I could – I don’t know – see better? See less blurred images?

Somehow, miraculously, I made it home that night without incident.

But I told my friend this story and how I felt her son was actually being WAY more responsible to just stay put and sleep off the liquor. Oh sure, he shouldn’t technically be drinking but that is another topic. The fact is, he is and was drinking and instead of getting behind the wheel and seeing blurred vision he stayed where he was until he sobered up.