Well, not very old, but definitely older. Right after college, when all my friends and my younger sister were celebrating engagements, I was busy concentrating on my career. Then when they were devoting themselves to planning weddings and starting families, I was busy working and traveling. I didn’t have a huge desire to settle down, move to the suburbs with a two car garage and fill it with toys and a minivan. I wanted more. Hmmm. More, I thought, was seeing the world, partying with my friends all night, dating up a storm, answering to no one but myself, sleeping Saturday away if I pleased and hopping into my car and heading somewhere, anywhere, any time.
Then I met my husband. At 39, it was not the first marriage proposal I got but it was the first one I accepted. My husband made me want to settle down. He made me want to have dinner at home every night. He made a house home. We talked about having children but I was fine either way. He had a son and that was good enough for me. I got to be an instant mom. Then I got pregnant. We were trying but it still came as quite the shock. I’d never been responsible for anyone but myself and now I had this little life inside me. At 41, the life inside me made his way from my belly into my arms, and my heart would never be the same.
So you see when I say I’m a good mom because I’m old, it’s because I’ve been around the block. I know stress. I know how fast our time on this planet goes. When my son says, “Mom, let’s play Legos” or, “Please come play a game of basketball with me in the backyard,” I throw off my heels and lace up my sneakers because I know that in a blink of an eye my little basketball player will be packing his bags for college. When he asks me to lay with him until he falls asleep, I fall asleep by his side. When he wants to stay up all night talking, I listen. And when he wants to invite 5 of his closest friends for a sleepover, we lay out the sleeping bags and break out the snacks.
When my son was about 4 years old and running in and out of our house from a muddy yard as I was trying to clean for a party, a song I’d never heard before came on the radio. It was called “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins. I listened to the lyrics. A tear rolled down my face. I looked at the muddy steps on the carpet I’d cleaned repeatedly and realized at that moment, I’m gonna miss this. I haven’t let the lyrics to that song leave my mind. And I haven’t let a minute go by that I don’t appreciate the miraculous gift of being a mom, especially an "old" mom.