Yesterday I went shopping with my good friend Gretchen. We had some good laughs about our predicament. At many of the stores we went to, on one side of the aisle, you have the juniors section with it's super low-riser, skinny jeans, thongs (not the flip-flop kind) and crazy fluorescent colors- and on the other side of the aisle, you have the misses section with it's mom-jeans, granny panties, and rhinestoned jean jackets. At age 28 on what side of the aisle do we belong? Neither side really feel quite right.
When I'm shopping in the juniors section, I find myself hunkering down, hoping no one I know will recognize me and escort me back over to the other side of the aisle where I belong. Sometimes I don't quite know what to think when a 12-year old girl who has been eyeing me approaches me and tells me she loves my shirt.
Then you have the other side of the aisle, the side I resist, thinking that if I cross that imaginary line that divides the two sides of the store, I'll have to come to terms with the fact that I am in fact a mom with three kids, approaching middle-age.
As a kid I would day-dream about getting married to the perfect man, getting an education, having kids, and where I would settle down. At times I would daydream about my golden years, retirement, and serving missions. Now that the first part of the daydreams have materialized, I find myself approaching un-daydreamed territory. No one ever daydreams about middle age, the "spread" that inevitably happens, the wrinkles forming around the eyes, the stretch marks, the aching knees, the chronic fatigue and the feeling of distance from the up and coming generation.
Then I remember the conversation I had with my sister on her 30th birthday. I asked her if it was hard for her to turn 30. Without hesitation she said, "No, because I like myself better now than I did when I was 20." How true that is. I wouldn't trade in these stretch marks and wrinkles for an eternity of my twenties because they resulted from the things that mean the most to me in life.