I was driving my minivan down the street the other day, Nirvana turned up just loud enough, mumbled lyrics tumbling out my mouth, when I saw another mom in the parking lot singing away in her minivan. It got me thinking about something occurred to me the other day:
I don’t really feel a whole lot older than I did just a decade ago when I was a senior in high school working my butt off at a custom framing store and dating a guy way too old for me (hi, Wes!).
There’s a point to this, I promise. Hang in there.
You see, I always looked at the parents of my friends when I was in high school and assumed they were all grown-uppy and stuff. That they liked black coffee and NPR and smooth jazz, that they were as removed from their young selves as I was from my notion of adulthood at the time.
The older I get, however, and the more I find myself sneaking away on solo errands so I can listen to my not-kid-appropriate music as loud as I want to, the more I suspect that the other parents around me are maybe not the untouchable bastions of maturity I think they are.
I’m beginning to wonder whether the other moms I hang out with in my kids’ classes still listen to Nirvana and sometimes catch themselves laughing at the idea that they actually drive minivans now.
I don’t know. I mean, of course I’m not the same girl I was ten years ago. Thank goodness I’ve had a whole lot of living and therapy since then, but on the inside I’m still a lot like that person. I still laugh way too loud, I still think it’s hilarious when people fall down, and I still find it difficult to reconcile the idea that all the parents of my youth may have been young people in hiding just as I feel I may be now.
If this post has any point at all, let it be this: When you pass someone tootling around town in a minivan, see if you can figure out which young person is hiding behind that responsible exterior. Shoot, if you happen to be that person behind the wheel of some responsible family sedan, figure it out for yourself.
Our kids will never believe the young people we once were are still there, but who cares. If we have to play drunken Twister with our spouses after the kids go to bed and then listen to NPR during waking hours so their little heads don’t explode, that’s cool. It’ll be our collective parent secret, okay?