Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

30 June 2006

"(There'll Be) Peace In the Valley (For Me)"

A song with two sets of parentheses in the title, oooo! There's something you just don't get every day. I wish we had a recording of the Elvis version of this song, but alas, no. It would be enough for me to ease the 'No Elvis!' ban on my iPod. This song is sweet, comforting like a fuzzy blankie. I shall say no more about it.

Lately I've been thinking again about the lack of babies in my life. It's not that I know no babies, I do. I have several friends who have little ones, one dear cousin, and another friend expecting later this year. It does seem, though, that among the women closest to me there is a lack of children. More than half of my wedding party is childless and expecting to remain so. My husband's oldest friends are also childless, and a decent percentage of our mutual friends are as well. We know people with children for the most part through our daughter (this is a very lucky thing, I feel, to happen to like people who just happen to be friends with her, I don't take it for granted). It seems very odd all around. I need to wait for my sister to have children, though I'm guessing that will be a while, she's a lot younger than I am. But the upside there is that my daughter should be old enough that I can go and help out, enjoy being the support staff.

The real story, the hidden story-behind-the-story, is that being a mom when most of my friends are not makes me feel very old, very boring and dull, very laden with the endless minutiae of motherhood.

On a tangent: I was hanging out with one of my (childless) friends today, and she talked about our evident 'middle-aged-ness'. For her, the body changes are frustrating: skin that can be dry and still have acne, increased aches and pains, grey hair, etc. These things don't seem to trouble me too much, though I'm very conscious that I may be asking for trouble just admitting that (quick, knock on wood, or something). And I may be starting to see all this from a different angle, one that may spiral into my own bubble: the other day I found myself admiring all the young women walking around town, their thin bodies, their grace, their flawless skin and walk of confidence. I tell myself I still have the walk, at least, but is this going to shortly look just as awkward on me as short skirts? How long can I still feel beautiful, sexy?

This is all nothing new. What might save me is knowing that millions of women have faced this reality and survived, for the most part. I have even heard that people over sixty sometimes still have sex! Amazing. And I think of all the actresses, and other public figures, who have no choice but to submit to Botox, personal trainers, difficult diets, veneers, surgery: are they lucky to be able to afford it, really? Why would I want my body to be my job?

Back on track: I think on my daughter. As the oldest of five children, I entered into motherhood with eyes open. I didn't know the whole of it, of course, and the childless life did have its pull, but I chose this: I chose to be a mother. I wouldn't go back. I cannot stop my body aging; I will always be her mother. Somehow I'll survive this. Surely there is some compensation.


At 11:31 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

I am with you...I am the youngest of my friends and also the first to have a baby and it threw me for quite a loop. You take certain things for granted (sleep, food, adult conversation) and when you start to notice that not everyone is enthralled with the first tooth and well baby check-ups the world can seem a lonely place.

No matter...when I wake up bleary eyed and see my daughter smiling at me, so happy just because I am there, I know I got the best deal :)


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter