I think I’m having a mid life crisis. At least that’s what I’m calling it. It’s not even a cool mid life crisis where I dye my hair and buy a Harley Davidson and have an affair with a much younger woman who will eventually tire of me and take all my money. It’s a boring mid life crisis where I’m facing all sorts of changes in my life that I have no control over.
My Dad is dying. In fact he’s been dying now for about 3 years. My sisters and I have said goodbye to Dad so many times that we feel like call centre switchboard operators. I have sobbed on his bedside and told him what a fabulous Dad he’s been and thanked him for loving me and raising me the way he did, thinking that by morning he’ll be gone, only to come to the hospital the next morning to see him sitting up eating his cornflakes and saying in his broad Aussie accent “I feel real good today!”. It makes it awkward. He is the Phoenix. He keeps rising again. Until the day he doesn’t and then it will hit me like a ton of bricks and I’ll wish he was sitting up eating those awful cornflakes. I can’t even imagine how my Mum feels, after being with the same man for over 50 years, to now be faced with the reality of life without him. She refuses to imagine it which is another problem all together.
Whilst my parents are in their twilight years, we have twin sons who are almost 13 years old. I recently saw a photo on twitter of a woman holding her premature twins in hospital and it looked so much like me (except of course I thought I looked more glamorous after giving birth) and our boys. I can honestly say that those memories are so vivid it really does feel like it was only yesterday. Now those gorgeous little babies are growing pubic hair. My adorable, giggly, chubby knuckled, sweet smelling little sweethearts are becoming teenagers and I feel like I have two strangers living in the house. I remember them curling their little fat arms around my neck and snuggling into me like they never wanted to leave, and now when I hug them it feels like they’re doing me a favour by putting their long, limp arms around me and I can almost feel them wishing it was over. When I ask them how their day at school was, I am lucky to get grunted at. They speak about Minecraft (an online computer game which they’re obsessed with) to each other and I feel so excluded because; a) I don’t have any idea what the purpose of that stupid bloody game is – it has NO ENDING; and b) I actually don’t give a shit what they’re saying. I feel like my purpose right now is just to feed two hairy, growing ball sacks.
I look in the mirror these days and see something very different to what I imagine I look like. I notice that men don’t notice me anymore. A gorgeous comedian that I work with recently thought he was complementing me by saying “In your day you would have been quite the looker”. In my day I would have had the energy to throw a drink at him too! In my day, I could turn a man’s head and on a particularly good day, even conjure up a wolf whistle! Not long ago I walked past a building site and sneezed and a cute builder just said “Bless You”. There’s no wolf whistling anymore. Soon I’ll be wetting my pants when I sneeze as well. There’s nothing blessed about that. I have become one of the invisible women. A middle aged woman who wears sensible clothes and who doesn’t push the boundaries of fashion anymore. Hell, some days I don’t even shower until it’s time to go back to bed! I take selfies, thinking I’ll send one to my husband, only to delete every one of them because I never look good in them. Problem is, that is exactly how I look. I wish selfies were a thing when I looked the way I looked when I would have been proud to send a selfie to my fella!
Where did the years go? I remember my Dad being a fit, handsome, knock about bloke with a Reschs Pilsner in his hand and a pair of stubbies on. I remember my boys sitting in their high-chairs going through their repertoire of animal noises for me. Now all they do is the pig. I remember when I would go into their rooms in the morning and their little faces would light up with giant smiles when they saw me. Now they groan when I open their curtains in their dark cave-like rooms that smell like sweat and Lynx Deodorant. I remember my husband and I sitting up until 2am or 3am playing Playstation Games! Now we’re flat out being able to turn the bloody thing on and anyway, we’re asleep by 9pm now.
It’s a big time of change for me and I’m not ready for any of it. I don’t want it. I want my chubby little babies back, I want my active, funny, reliable Dad back and I don’t want these bullshit vertical wrinkles on my chest! What the hell are they anyway and when did they arrive??
The Harley Davidson is looking pretty good right now. If only I could get my leg over the seat....