Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Okay At 46

They say that when we are in our forties we enter a phase where questions about our life accomplishments and what legacy we will leave behind become important. Here I am in the second half of that decade and indeed these questions do creep into my thoughts every now and then. The answers? They don't creep in so much.

Should I be asked to answer these questions on the spot, I would have to say that one of my greatest successes in my 46 years is my kids. I am very lucky that I have raised one to be a legal adult without her dropping out of school, getting arrested, or getting pregnant. If you listen to the statistics released by those who research teen aged behavior, you realize that this is no small accomplishment. Offspring No. 1 is a good kid. She did well in high school and is working hard in college. With any luck, she will graduate with a degree that will help her to become a good wage earning, tax paying citizen. (We can only claim her as a dependent for so long!)

I am equally proud of Offspring No. 2. Though she is still in high school, I trust that in two years, I will be able to say that she too has not dropped out, been arrested or gotten pregnant. (I know that statements like this are what get a mother in trouble. How many times have we all heard "Not my kid!") She is a strong, bright, caring and compassionate kid. I hope that she is able to carry all of this with her into adulthood. Though Offspring No. 2 says that she is in no hurry to leave home, I have no doubt that she will go on to do great things. I suspect that when she reaches her forties, her list of accomplishments will be much clearer and much longer than mine.

Just as I am feeling satisfied that raising good kids is a pretty damn good life's work, I receive the following from Offspring No. 1 and my world is shaken by a whirlwind of doubt.

This is college girls playing rugby. Mine is the one in the maroon jersey on her ass.

About this time last year I was writing about how sad I was that Offspring No. 1 would not be playing soccer anymore. She said that after her last high school season was over, that was it. She had survived many years as a goalkeeper and never been carted off tof he field on a gurney. She wanted to keep it that way.

Here is a case and point on that never say never thing. She is indeed still playing soccer - indoor and outdoor. And in addition, she is also playing rugby. I think she is working to even out that injury statistic.

She sent the following picture with the explanation that rugby is a really social sport. After every game, both teams get together for "refreshments" and sing a few obligatory (rude and crude) songs about the joys of their beloved sport.

Can you find Offspring No. 1 in this one? I am feeling really prod now! Do they have women's rugby in the Olympics? Just a thought.

I am not willing to give in to the notion yet that I am a failure. Offspring No. 2 is still showing great potential. But if she should, by some miracle, let me down, I have figured out what my legacy will be.

I will leave an enormous number of unfinished knitting projects behind - perhaps more than anyone else.

Now I can stop worrying about silly things like why am I here. I am free to move on to more important questions like is it 6 or 8 Oreos that is considered to be a serving.