Monday, April 28, 2008

"You look older than that!"

Some background information: I volunteer in the 3 year old Sunday School classroom once a month. There are assigned "teachers" in the rooms, but then the volunteers "help" out. I don't love doing it, but I don't mind it either. I feel I should help out because I do have children in the Sunday School classrooms, so it is only fair.

So yesterday was my day to take on the 3-year-olds. I was ready for them. Usually Bug is in there with me, but she spent the night at her grandparents house, so I was on my own. The teacher, D, and I were talking while the kids were eating snacks. He is probably about 26-27 years old. He is very much a goofball. The kids adore him. He doesn't know how to take something seriously if his life depended on it.

Ok, back to the story...we were chatting while the kids were snacking and he was telling me that he was graduating next month with an Associates in Pastoral Ministries degree. He then proceeded to tell me he has been in college for nearly 10 years and added that he had obtained a bachelors degree in Marketing before he decided to go into ministry. He asked about my background and I told him that I went to school for a long while also. I explained I had 2 business degrees, a teaching certificate and a Masters of Education degree. He was rather impressed, which wasn't my intention. My purpose for telling him that was that I had changed my mind a few times too.

Somehow we started talking about the year we graduated from high school and it turns out that I graduated 4 years before him (different school). His mouth hit the floor and he exclaimed, "You look older than that!!!"

Well, thanks, dude. I appreciate being told I look like an old hag. Geez! I mean, seriously, just what a woman wants to hear, right? He could have said, "Oh, I thought you were older because you seem more mature than me." He could have said, "Hmm, I figured you were older because you have accomplished a good deal of education." Nope, none of that...simply, "YOU. LOOK. OLDER. THAN. THAT!"

As I reflected on that, I realized I probably do look older than him. Here are a couple of things that I have experienced that God willing, he will never have to experience in his lifetime.

We struggled with infertility. The stress that goes with that is high. Most of my readers are familiar with that stress. That ages a person.

While 20 weeks preggo we learned that Bug had Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. HELLO! Talk about stressing a person. That ages a person.

After Bug's birth, we have experienced 3 brain surgeries, eye surgery, back closure surgery, multiple hospital stays for various infections. That ages a person!

We traversed the adoption journey for 2 years...17 months of waiting. One failed match and even more emotionally stressful, one failed placement. We lived through the birth of our daughter through adoption. We lived through the week her first mom brought her home and loved on her and bonded. We lived through the wait for her to be legally available for adoption. We are still living through the wait of finalizing everything. That ages a person!

The list above doesn't even begin to mention the move cross country, twice. Building a house. Selling a house. Buying a house. Job changes. Career changes. Arguments with family. Watching your "baby" go to school. Running day in and day out to various dr. appts and other fun engagements.

Sure, I probably do look older than I am. But, I wouldn't change any of it. Not one moment. If any one thing were changed, I would not have the life I have right now. My daughter, Bug, is worth every gray hair that is beginning to appear. My daughter, Princess, is worth every fine line and wrinkle that is developing on my face. The dark circles under my eyes are a badge of honor...clearly announcing to anyone who sees me that I am a mother...a tired, worn out mother.

So there, Mr. 3-year-old-Sunday-School-teacher-dude...I might look older, but look at the blessings I have in my life. I will take older any day of the week if it means I get to keep my life just the way it is. So, thank you for the compliment!


nush said...

you crack me up Angie! no need to justify your looking older, it happens to the best of us, stess or not! i find it best to just embrace it! I figure the best we can do is dress cute and look cute no matter what age we are. my mom is 65 and when she dresses up to date, her hair is "did", and her make up flawless, she looks gorgeous, wrinkles n all! so no worries sister, you are not alone! i personally choose to cover up those unsightly grey hairs with color! takes years off and does wonders!
peace out!

Mama Bear said...

Hay! what a great way to look at it!!!!! and I think you look youthful and fantastic!

Another Day said...

I always thought you looked like younger 30's?? Really your a hot mamma.

More pics of the little ones!


nush said...

hey just thought i would say, come visit my blog sometime!!! Sometimes it seems like i write on that dang thing for nothing!!!
miss ya!!

PeWee said...

Yikes! Before he starts his "ministry career" he might want to brush up on his manners a bit!