Posts Tagged ‘big Catholic families’

Yesterday was my youngest brother’s birthday. He turned forty-one.

I was sixteen, the eldest of five girls and one boy, when my mother announced she was pregnant again. I was mortified. Sure, we were Catholic, and I knew that made artificial methods of birth control taboo, but really, another child at her age? She was thirty-six years old! Didn’t she know when to stop?

In case that slid by you, let me say it again. She was thirty-six years old! In 1967, that meant you should be knitting baby clothes for the grandchild that might arrive in a year or too, not for your own!

How things have changed. I have friends whose first child wasn’t born until they were in their late-thirties; others still actively trying to conceive after the age of forty-five. I know young men and women who are still in school until thirty, who at thirty-five still aren’t settled into careers.

And then there’s me. Fifty-seven years old and in serious denial. Fashion magazines, towered haphazardly in a corner of my office, keep me abreast of the latest trends. After all, it wouldn’t do to dress like A matron. My wall mirror mercifully makes me look twenty pounds thinner. Without the help of bifocals to magnify my every facial flaw, I can apply make-up and believe I look as good as I did twenty years ago.

Yeah, I’m in denial alright.

Of course, standing up from my office chair slams me right back to reality. My  creaking knees and myriad of other chronic complaints don’t belong to someone in their thirties. They’re all part of the mosaic that’s created this “middle-aged me,” someone one who could never imagine having to raise a young teenager right now, and the same person who once moaned “Mom, don’t you don’t when it’s time to stop?”

Actually, I’m glad she didn’t. I rather like my “little” brother.

Happy Belated Birthday, Jeff!


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