Was 30 really the best time in your life?


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As I look back at being thirty, I must have been incredibly busy.  With two little girls, my life was full of shuffling baby seats, giving baths and picking up toys.  The die hadn’t been cast for baby #3 yet, and besides, life was full.

My career was on hold but then again thinking back, was it?  Work was essential but for many years, part-time was all that worked.   Over half the time, staying at home, was what made the most sense.

Money was tight, as we were living in S. Calif., on one income.  Our nights out were minimal, and so were our connections to the outside world.

It seemed like a century since either of us had experienced a night on the town or better yet, a hangover.

Going to pick out videos, was the highlight of our weekend plans.  Blockbuster was our best bud, but if we didn’t get to his door before 3 pm, then the pickins could be disappointing.

High school friends had disappeared and college buddies as well.  It was about that time that my Mom and Dad split after forty some years together.  Their lives were in turmoil, and God knows it was helter-skelter at our home as well. The biggest surprise was how long they hung in.  Catholics didn’t divorce back then, at least not till the kids were gone and all four of us were.

Those years of narcissistic driven schedules, where our biggest sacrifice might have been sharing a bathroom with a roommate, were now a thing of the past.

Our lives were in synch with our kids, but we continued to delude ourselves into thinking we were in charge. Between unexpected visits in our “barf Mobile” van to the pediatrician, job and money demands, the days either dragged or flew by. There was no in-between.

Yes, we still looked physically good at 30.  We even found ourselves sexually speaking, at our peak, at least we gals did.

We were oblivious to how long the worries would take to subside.  Little did we know, that this was all part and parcel of parenting and would continue forever.

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Some of our friends were still single or opting not to have children. They were a blast to have over for the weekend.  Being with them, gave us a sense of liberty, although short-lived, as we vicariously lived through their dates.  After 2-3 days, though, it was time to meander back to our reality.

 

Travel seemed as enticing as ever, but it was simpler to stay home.  Lugging the car seat, playpen, bouncy seat, diapers, baby food, bottles, formula, took away from the idyllic place we were trying to escape to.

One year, we headed to Hawaii and on the way home our daughters told the grown-ups across the isle, that the best part of their trip, were the Hawaiian Barbi’s Mom bought them for the plane ride.  By that trip, my tummy was expanding with our third child and in hindsight, the four of us might have been just as happy at home.

But, back to 30 and staring straight into 60.

What do we think we remember when our glasses fog up with our trips back to “la-la-30-ish-land?”

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Might these be some of those fantasies we all thrash around?

Sex – it was the best.

Really?  Between bedtimes, vomit, screams, and endless laundry?

Figures – we were stealth still.

If you didn’t count the C-section scars and boobs that were never quite the same.

Dreams– we had hope and expectation.  

Really?  Did we have any reserve energy to dream?

Adoration – which planet do you come from?

Sure our children loved us and came to us for everything.  They also believed everything we said.  But, they could be coaxed to fall for Santa too, remember?

Unconditional Love – ok, I’ll buy that one it’s an aphrodisiac for sure.

 But, it’s tempered by whether Dad got the ice cream at dinner or not.

The Future – Yup, this was a BIG one.

The trouble is, most of us were too busy holding on for dear life to make any gambles.

But it was THE time to start planning for college, retirement, etc.  You know, build that business, invest, grow our nest egg.  I’m not sure we could hear the message, above the dinner hour power struggle.

Thirty was our most vital time in a way.

Life was now the best roller coaster ride around!

We felt often weighed down by a backpack of responsibility but remained naive to what the teen years could/would bestow upon us.

Dammit, looking back is, on the one hand, such a joy, but be honest, the trying times fade away over the years.  Take childbirth, if we could relive the actual last forty-five minutes of labor, would you still have been willing to say, we’d do it all over again?  Not once in my case, but twice?  See, we all forget the bad.  What a good thing getting older and becoming a little less sharp truly is!

The fact is we forget the worst moments and hold onto the best.  We don’t focus on the many days where your little one pooped her pants for the second time, and optimistically you put her back in her “big girl panties.” Or the night you were going on a date-night, and the sitter called to say the baby was running a fever and could you come home. Knowing full well, you couldn’t miss work again, not this week.

Yes, thank God most of us humans hang onto the golden times and trash the rest.  And, there are plenty of “magical moments” in parenthood!

No one prepares you for the joy of seeing your child ride w/out training wheels or smile from center stage.  Or the funny site of watching your daughter doing cartwheels in the outfield or the innocence of a Daddy/daughter dance.

Not many people regret having children, at least not 80% of the time.

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Life is funny; we always look at what we no longer have with such longing.  Take our mobility, for example, or eyesight, maybe it’s natures way of getting us to slow down and without being too corny “smell the roses.”  After all, at 30, there simply wasn’t much time for reflection.

Hope you enjoyed this tryst with thirty.

Here’s to 30-somethings, may they keep the faith and maintain the show.

What would life be without their sacrifices, trials, and tribulations?  Certainly, we are into loving them for procreating (“Yay!” for grandchildren) and reminding us to take care of ourselves.

Don’t they realize, Nana and Poppa can keep up, we just don’t choose to any longer?

We’ve got options that 30-year-olds don’t!