The Freak Down
Maybe it’s not really representative, this being rural Oklahoma and all, but when we go to the doctor and sit interminably in the waiting room, I look around at all the other folks in there waiting to get their bellies seen, and it seems to me that we’re older than most of them. By quite a bit. As a matter of fact, a couple of them are on their second or third kids and look like they’re squeezing their prenatal appointments in during fourth period homeroom.
We waited for quite a bit to have kids. Next Thursday, Karli and I will celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary. We got married young. But we were trying to do the responsible thing and wait till we were financially and personally ready to have kids. Which makes us old.
I don’t think how old we are will really matter that much to Squatch. Our kid is going to think we’re old no matter what. But when we get around other parents of Squatch’s peers, we’re going to seem a little beyond some of their age groups.
Don’t get me wrong—Karli and I are definitely not old. And again, my current reference point is the Teen Mom-ish waiting room. But at this point, I’m about three-and-a-half years older than my mom was when she had me. And she’s even told me that she occasionally felt old at some parent nights in school.
I’m thinking Karli and I will be the only parents in the room who know what cassette tapes are. Or who can remember the Soviet Union actually being a thing. Or whose introduction to Paula Abdul wasn’t American Idol.
I don’t often feel old. There are moments, of course—like when half my composition class has never seen an episode of Gilligan’s Island—but for the most part, I still consider myself relatively young. This may be because my current frames of reference are my coworkers—faculty in a college English department. But for the most part I feel downright spry.
This will change, I know. Like when Squatch starts to rattle off names of musicians I don’t know or consider to be “noise.” Or when people start talking about the 20th anniversary of some event I remember vividly and still consider recent. Or when I start bitching about joint pains.
And, of course, when I’m going to be around Squatch’s classmates and their parents. I wonder if they’ll compliment my Life Alert necklace.