Sunday, December 11, 2005

Overheard at a party last night

"Yes, our life is a rich tapestry of vomit."

It's happened. Enough of my high school friends now have children (and not just babies but actual kids) that the Christmas party has a distinctly different atmosphere. Not entirely different. We still tell stories that start "Remember when you were so drunk that...", but we hushed up whenever a child came into the room for boo-boo kisses, DVD help or nourishment.

One of my friends opined that we were actually very good kids for all the naughty secret things we did, and she thinks we should have acted worse. It's an interesting question--if you put morals aside for the moment and focus on the utilitarian. I guess today's results indicate that we were "good kids," since everyone is intact and most of us went to college, own homes, are happily married and have kids. You certainly have to wonder how much more we could have gotten away with before serious cracks appeared in the veneer. And don't come away from this thinking that all the memories that hold us together are memories of debauchery--we had a lot of innocent fun, too.

In A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Francie's Aunt Sissy expresses regret about all the lovers she has had, and wishes her husband Steve had been "the first and only one." Her sister (Francie's mother) says "Woman talks that means she's going into the change of life....If she never had any lovers, she kicks herself around when the time comes, thinking of all the fun she could have had, didn't have, and now can't have. If she had a lot of lovers, she argues herself into believing that she did wrong and she's sorry now. She carries on that way because she knows that soon all her woman-ness will be lost...lost."

And I think something similar is happening here. We're still years away from menopause, but never again can we dip more than a toe into reckless irresponsibility. It's the wonderful thing about parenthood and the awful thing about parenthood--the job you can't quit.

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