Well that's just neato.
I'm 35, and that means I'm on the downhill side of the childbearing years... apparently. They must have heard that I'm just so excited to be finding grey hairs and applying anti-wrinkle cream. My dreams will now be filled with visions of AARP reps gleefully rubbing their hands together.
But I don't feel like I have advanced maternal age, so in the doctor's office I rolled my eyes and we both laughed. Whatever.
I haven't really gotten the worst of it, though. Strangers have asked Cabbage several times if Beep is his granddaughter. He's 46.
He's kind in his responses and laughs about it, but it pisses me off. Usually it sends me into an internal monologue sniping about "short generation intervals are for inbreds and idiots" and "we chose to take our time" and "he's not old enough to be a grandfather" and "people can really be thoughtless jackwagons."
I feel like I'm exactly the right age to be having babies, because I have the maturity and desire to research and learn about pregnancy and childrearing, to listen to reason, and to take advice in measured amounts. I've arrived at a point in my life where I should be having children. Cabbage feels the same way.
Our younger years were whirlwinds of college, friends, parties, trips, trials, learning and testing and blessedly- finally- finding our way to each other when we were ready to settle down. Neither of us have any regrets about those well-spent youthful years, but neither do we look back on those days wistfully.
We don't mind staying home on Friday nights, or rocking a baby to sleep instead of going to a concert, or early mornings with filled with footie pajamas and gleeful screaming matches. We're right where we want to be.
I realize the timing and the inclination to have children is different for everyone, and some people are ready earlier or later than I was. Fortunately for me, in my group of friends most of us chose to pursue college, then more college, build a career path, fall in love along the way, smell the roses, and then have children. I didn't feel any peer pressure to have babies earlier.
In the last few years, though, I've heard several young people (a demographic I can no longer claim as my own, apparently... you know, what with my advanced maternal age) comment that "I want to have kids while I'm young enough to play with them/enjoy them/have a life after they grow up."
Maybe they aren't aware that I am fully capable of playing with my baby at the age of 35. More than that, it's all I want to do.
Maybe they haven't realized that creaky knees don't keep me from wrestling with Beep, or that sore shoulders never stopped Cabbage from swinging her. And we have the patience to do it until she says to stop.
I bet they don't yet understand that there is no reason to think you have to put off your life until after kids. You can have a life before, during, and after raising them. Nothing goes on hold for kids, really, and Cabbage and I have simply folded our baby into our lifestyle.
So here's the thing. I'm okay with my so-called advanced maternal age. It's the perfect age. And I hope the next time someone asks Cabbage if Beep's his granddaughter, he tells them to shove it.