Dear Then and Now,
It is bizarre how you have changed so much over time. Today, I watched a police car outside my window patrolling our community. It occurred me how differently I used to think of policemen when I was little. Then: They keep us safe and sound. Now: What have I done wrong? Or better yet, a knee-jerk reaction to look at my speedometer. Quickly, many other things entered my mind to remind me how life changes accordingly over time.
Alone time. Then: Sad to not have anyone to hang out with, and endless fearful thoughts of loneliness the more time I spent alone. Now: Simply. Priceless.
Fertility. Then: Dear God, please tell me I'm not pregnant. Later: Dear God, please make this round of IVF work! Now: Dear God, please just sterilize me, NOW!
Kids. Then: My students, to whom I get to wave goodbye when school is over. Now: My own offsprings, for whom I must be 100% responsible, 24-7.
Sex. Then: People stopped having sex at age 40 (way back when I thought 40-year-olds were ancient). Now: What on earth WAS I thinking??????
Time spent with DH. Then: Dining, movies, cultural events, and occasional traveling. Now: Feeding, bathing, and hustling kids, having broken conversations over loud kids, and playing Word Feud on our smartphones on opposite ends of our bed.
Video Games. Then: My kids would never be addicted to video games. Now: Are the DSs fully charged?
McDonald's: Then: We would not feed the kids fast food if we can help it. Now: What's the next Happy Meal toy and when is it coming out?
Toy guns. Then: No toy guns allowed at home. Now: I have no comment.
Annie Banks in Father of the Bride. Then: I trust your judgment, as you are a smart, college-educated young woman. Now: What the hell are you thinking getting engaged to a man you just met? In EUROPE? Are you OUTTA YOUR MIND?
Public kid tantrums. Then: My child would never be like that child. Now: I have that child.
Complexion. Then: OMG, I have a ginormous zit on my nose! Now: Is that yet another skin tag and more age spots appearing under my eye?
Makeup. Then: A self-proclaimed makeup guru under the apprenticeship of Paula Begoun. Now: An expected visitor comes over and I realize I had forgotten to put on makeup (gasp in horror).
Injuries. Then: Results from playing sports or working out. Now: Results from cleaning (stubbing toe on vacuum, tripping on cleaning caddy, having a sore back from mopping).
Callouses on hands. Then: From lifting weights in the gym. Now: From cutting 5 watermelons into 1 inch cubes for preschool kids' snack.
Sunning. Then: Slather on enough baby oil to look like an slick pig. Now: Slather on enough zinc oxide to look like a white zombie.
Candy. Then: Buy bags of Jelly Belly for myself and eat them anytime of the day. Now: Perpetually saying no to kids asking to eat candy.
Drinks. Then: Martinis, margaritas, Kahlua and cream. Now: Unsweetened tea, iced water, with a wedge of lemon, if the server is nice enough to oblige.
Desserts. Then: Creme brulee, profiteroles, exotic fruit sorbets. Now: s'mores, ice cream, cupcakes.
Cooking. Then: Seared sea scallops over a bed of sauteed leeks; Indian-spiced vegetables with homemade naan; citrus pork chops with apples and onions. Now: Mac and cheese out of a box; pasta in any shape with tomato sauce; miso soup with udon and tofu.
Restaurants. Then: Friday date nights at Chicago's fine dining restaurants. Now: A mindless rotation of your typical chain, kid-friendly restaurants (i.e. complete with sticky booth seats and kids menus that always offer mac and cheese).
How times change! But as we know it, it really isn't time that changes, but the experiences during the passage of time that changes us. So never say never. But there is one thing that will never change. And if you think I am about to say something sentimental or lovey dovey, you will be disappointed:
Lactose intolerance. Then: Intolerant. Now: Still intolerant. Future: Will always be intolerant. Here's to a lifetime supply of dairy digestive enzymes in my medicine cabinet (cheers to myself with a milkshake).