Monday, September 1, 2014

Secret Sandbox

"I'm convinced most people do not grow up. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. We carry the accumulation of years in our bodies, and our on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias."  —Maya Angelou

I am often struck by how little changed I am inside from the child I was, the 11-year-old in that picture up top, the 25-year-old who panicked at the realization that people would now think I was a grown up; the 29-year-old standing at the altar with a secret sense that the world was a vast sandbox, and how lucky I was to have a play buddy; the 34-year-old becoming a mother for the first time, incredulous that the people at the hospital actually planned to send this delicate newborn home with me, as if I had any clue at all about what I was doing. I still feel, even now, as if I'm just stumbling along. I'm keenly aware of my financial responsibilities, and I manage somehow to slip under the wire every time. I got paid for an editing job last week. Our co-op maintenance was due, and so was rent for our daughter's college housing. I paid both with that check, and when I was done I had $1.98 left. I will probably get another check next week. It will be the exact amount, to the dollar, that I have to send to the college for my daughter's health insurance. My husband also takes care of his bills and commitments, usually with nothing left over. And yet we keep on keeping on. We are either very charmed or skating on the proverbial edge. I'm going with charmed. Play buddies in the sandbox inventing the game as we go.


  1. Will we ever have a clue? Does it matter?
    As I was talking with my daughter yesterday morning I could see for just an instance how much of a confident adult she is and I wondered where on earth she got it from. Not me, even if she would claim otherwise.

    What a beautiful 11 yr old with such a tender and careful smile!

  2. Look at you - so beautiful! I'm hoping for charmed for you too. This is the hardest part, the college years. In a few more short years, you will get a huge chunk of breathing room and will really be able to enjoy that sandbox :)

  3. Love this post. We were just this morning talking about how we become more genuinely who we really are as we age.
    I'm going with charmed too.

  4. it's so true. I often feel like my life is a series of trial and error, and i am still just feeling my way through.

  5. At least you are paying your bills. You're far ahead of many people on that count!

    I think all adults feel a little like "frauds" -- and it takes a while to realize that. At first, you think you're the only one.

  6. Well this is selfish maybe, but it does me good to hear you felt that way having a baby at 34. It's how I felt when I had Ayla at 23, and I've always kinda thought if I had been older, I would have been better prepared. It's good to know that's not true.

    As for the two of you, I am definitely going with charmed. And charming.