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The Wonder Years (I Wonder Where They Went!)

I’d like to report a crime. Seems my 30s and 40s have been stolen. The perpetrators are described as two 20-somethings. They are unarmed and considered extremely non-dangerous but snarky. They have a little canine accomplice who stole my heart as well.

This is alarming. Last I looked I was a young stay-at-home mom with two little kids who sucked up all my time like a Hoover. Life revolved around chicken nuggets, carpools, and playdates. I was in charge and they ate what I gave them and wore what I bought them. We dealt with colic, pneumonia, and broken bones. We went to the pediatrician so often they dedicated a wing of the office to my family. Their dentist saw so much of them he was able to buy himself a small plane (true story).

Let’s see, I graduated high school in 1979. Holy shit, that’s 37 years ago. Wait, is it? That can’t be right. My memory must really be going. College graduation was 1983. That makes it 33 years this spring. There must be a mistake. I remember being “proofed” (now they call it “carded”) like it was yesterday. Now the only card I’m asked to produce says “AARP.” I remember the thrill of turning 18 and being old enough to drink AND vote (yes, the drinking age was 18 back in the olden days). I’ve gone from a “Miss” to a “Ma’am.” I’ve gone from my cavity-prone years to my root canal years. From child-bearing age to middle age. At 54, I’m actually past middle age, unless I make it to a robust 108. I demand a recount.

I was a minivan mom. I was a baseball mom, a dance mom, a class mom. I went to PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, chorus and orchestra concerts. When the school calendar arrived for the beginning of the term, I took a  highlighter and marked all the pertinent dates. That sucker was covered in yellow. I bemoaned all the commitments that the coming year held.

Now it’s all a blur. The school calendar remains pristine white year-round. I don’t have to meet the teachers or sell wrapping paper, chocolate, or Girl Scout cookies anymore. On Halloween, I no longer get to roam the neighborhood with the packs of kids. I don’t sort through candy and pick out the “unsafe” (read: my favorite) treats. Now the only little one I dress is my dog, and I give out the good candy (again, my favorites). How did I get here?

Do me a favor. If you see my 30s and 40s, don’t approach them yourself but please report them to the authorities. I don’t think I want them back but I’d sure like to know where they went.

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