Who is this woman and what has she done with my youth?
It was just here a minute ago.
Maybe someone will turn it in to Lost and Found.
I may have taken a wrong turn at sunbathing in baby oil and spent too much time worrying and developing a scowl.
That’s the only explanation I can come up with.
I’ve tried to take good care of myself.
The younger me didn’t know how good she had it; knees that weren’t baggy, hair that didn’t require chemical intervention at six-week intervals, a jack-rabbit metabolism, and a face free of wrinkles and age spots.
This new woman? She follows me everywhere. Shows up in restaurant bathroom mirrors, reflections in the windows at Starbucks, all those fancy-schmancy mirrors in the Crate and Barrel store.
She looks a bit tired, takes longer to rise from a seated position, and her shoes may qualify as sensible.
It’s not my mother.
Because in those Crate and Barrel mirrors today? My mom was next to me on one side; my daughter beside me on the other.
There was no denying it today.
I am in that middle place.
In the middle where you can remember being your mommy’s little girl; going out shopping together or just hanging out.
Until that was no longer cool.
In the middle where you can still see the beginnings of your own motherhood journey; still remember holding those crying little ones and rocking them ever-so-gently.
In the middle where your kids become self-sufficient, busier with their own lives, less likely to need you for something.
In the middle where I can also see forward to my own mother’s life.
Kids grown, out on their own, no longer needing to worry about daily tasks of motherhood or trivial questions like peanut butter and jelly? or pink shirt or yellow?
This woman who stalks me? She’s not half bad.
She’s got a pretty good sense of humor, as long as you don’t ask her kids. She loves her family, likes a good pizza, a nice glass of wine, and plays a mean game of Scrabble.
And since she’s not going anywhere soon? I’ve come to like her.
But I still check the Lost and Found occasionally.