There is not one, single moment of one, single day that I would ever want to live over. Not even the first kiss my husband gave me –that Malibu night, as waves crashed against the sand and my heart felt like a thousand stars imploding–could lure me back. In fact, my memory of it may well be even more magical than the kiss actually was.
There is also no stage of life that I would ever want to return to, even briefly. This ‘been there, done that’ realization, though, really didn’t come to me until later in life. Now, don’t get me wrong. I do wish I were a little quicker around the tennis court, kind of miss my thick, shiny, golden hair and I could do without this weird, skin-drooping shenanigans that’s going on. But a teenager again? You gotta be kidding me. I’m raising two of them right now.
Nope. I’m done with the Helpless, Hapless Years, the Naive ones, the Downright Jackass Period, the Relentless, Ever-Pursuing, Cocky, Confident years, the All-Knowing and even The Wonder Years. Those chapters were fully covered in this particular textbook. Go ahead and test me: I have the memories intact. But I would not want to re-live, re-work, or even re-read any of it anymore than I would want to go skydiving again. (Did I mention the Dumb— Decade?).
Without those years, this now would not be now and I would not be me. Believe it or not, I think I love the wrinkled, sagging me WAY more than I ever loved the bouncy, taut me. It has nothing to do with ‘acceptance.’ I am not particularly accepting of the way time uses us up and flings us aside. I pass a cemetary everyday after dropping the kids at school. That’s all the reminder I need.
When I was five, my grandmother was the age I am now. I thought she was SO old. She would eventually come to live with me and my husband for the last 13 years of her life. One afternoon, when she was in her nineties, I asked her, “Granny, do you ever wish you were young again?” She looked at me like I was an idiot. “Of course not,” she replied. “Why do you ask?” “Well,’ I continued, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of your aches and pains gone?” “Oh, no, Dear,” she replied. “Every stage of life brings its own aches and pains.”* Indeed. She wasn’t old at all. She was timeless. (*Excerpt from, “Kissing Tomatoes,” by Helen Hudson. http://www.helen-hudson.com)