When I was a child, I worried that my parents would not be here for the big milestones. You see, I was the youngest of 7 kids. My mom was 41 years old when I was born and in the 70s, that was kind of late in life to have a child. So, I grew up with a sense of concern. I also appreciated having older parents. Sure, they were tired more often than the 20-somethings, but they were also more available and wiser and perhaps, more patient.
Then came the milestones. What if they never saw me graduate high school and college or get married or have children? There were so many things that I worried that they would miss. I wanted my mom to live to see me have children of my own.
The milestones came and went and they saw them all. The things that I thought were big moments, the things I worried that they would never live to see....they did.
The one milestone that I delayed was motherhood. Then suddenly, I was the "late-in-life" mom. Somehow, it seems different today. Being a mom is my 40s just seems to work. And honestly, my son doesn't seem to notice either. What do they say? Forty is the new thirty? Most days I feel like I am still in my thirties.
But, if you do the math, then you know that makes my parents pretty old. We lost my dad last spring, actually. It is hard to get to the point in life where you lose your parents and the ones you love. But last month, surrounded by family and friends, my mom celebrated her 90th birthday. She was overwhelmed, but all smiles. She doesn't look 90. I hope I have those genes too.
In the last several years, with aging parents, it seems that even the smaller events are milestones. You treasure the holidays and birthdays even more because you got one more special occasion together. And, as time passes, you count the moments. As we gather to celebrate Mother's Day, remember to take the pictures, cherish the smiles and say the kind words because you never know when these moments will be memories.