Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

He’ll Just Know Mommy

Sometimes I look at Tucker’s gorgeous, smooth, wrinkle-free baby skin and I want to rent a time-travel machine and visit my teenage self.  I’ll slap the hell out of then-me for going to the tanning salon, for sunbathing using baby oil, and for skiing without sunscreen.  And then I’d slap then-me again for continuing to do so year after year.  I wonder if my skin would look more like his, now, had I done a more diligent job of protecting it.  I’ll never know.  (Wear sunscreen!)

The thing about aging is that we never really feel that differently on the inside.  Sure, we have more knowledge and experience and confidence, better jobs, better houses and better shoes, but overall, I don’t really feel that the basic essence of now-me is much different from what it was at 16, 22, 30 and so on.  Sometimes the reminders of age catch me off guard.  I’ll pause at an accidental reflection of my face in the car window and think “Oh.  When did those lines on my forehead become so noticeable?  Have I always had such big bags under my eyes?  Can it be possible that I’ve had the same persistent and recurring cheek pimple for almost four years?”  And to the cheek pimple, yes, it is possible.  I’m living proof.

I suppose that one of the best things and worst things about aging is that getting older is relative.  We will always feel older.  We will never feel younger.  And yet it’s hard to imagine that we felt old at younger ages.  Because, well, we were so young.  Then.

The night before my sixth birthday, I remember standing on my front porch contemplating the end of my little kid days.  At the time, the distinction between being five and being six and being in kindergarten versus being in first grade was significant.  I knew that things were about to change.  And I suppose they did…although I suspect that it did not happen overnight as I had been convinced it would.  Another memory.  I was actually depressed about turning 30.  It seems silly now but I was worried that I should have accomplished more by then and that I should have felt more like a grown-up.  Which makes me wonder when any of us really feel grown up.  In some ways, we never will.  Because let’s face it.  We all remain somebody’s baby forever.  Even when our parents are gone, we remain their baby.

Which brings me to this.  Although I may accidentally catch an unflattering image in the car window, and regret my age-accelerating habits from younger ages, Tucker doesn’t see my wrinkles, my age spots freckles, or notice whether I’m in the best or the worst shape of my life.  When Tucker looks at me, he is happy and excited to see me (well, unless I’m holding the nail clippers or medicine or his toothbrush, but he’s not really seeing ME then, he’s seeing the item of his torture).

I’m not sure at what age children become embarrassed by their parents, and I honestly can’t remember whether I was consistently embarrassed by mine or not.  It doesn’t feel like I was now, which is perhaps more important anyway.

I suppose my point is that although every single time (which is about every day) that I look at myself in my car window, or mirror, or store reflection, the “me” that I see is not the mommy that Tucker sees.  So I’ve decided to not worry about the fact that he may be embarrassed about me being older than his friends’ mothers at whatever date that happens.  I’ve decided that I will do what I’m supposed to do and cherish the fact that he doesn’t even notice my recent highlights and lowlights, and regardless of either, he sees me.  The me that he’ll remember forever, with or without the wrinkles that I see.  He’ll just know mommy.


  • Susan - oh my word, this is such powerful great writing . and I’m so glad you shared. Wow it’s just so good that I’m crying. I feel the same way and I’m not even as old as you and I guess from what you said that doesn’t matter that i’m not even as old as you right! Thank you for sharing this you really have a gift for making us mothers cry and it’s all good cries so thank you! please keep posting. there are lots of blogs out there and they are ok but yours is very extra nice. so thank you!!October 26, 2012 – 11:55 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Susan, thank you so much for your comment. And you’re right, it doesn’t matter how old we are, we’re entitled to feel older than we used to be, because we are! 😉 Thank you for visiting Finding Ninee!October 28, 2012 – 6:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Pam - Dear Finding Ninee,
    Thank you for sharing your story. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your son who is trapped in your middle world as you call it. My son is autistic but very verbal, he experiences echolalia. and i don’t know what’s worse. Because my son can talk but he had no clue what he’s saying. I think that maybe it’s better to be where you are. But their circumstances aside, I thank you for what is such a very nice post that made me cry and I had to read it to my husband too. It’s very visual and nice and we feel the same way for all our kids. Thanks for sharing it must be hard knowing that people you know might read it too which makes it extra special.October 26, 2012 – 11:59 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you Pam, for visiting, commenting and sharing your story. Honestly, I don’t know what’s better, having the language and not really knowing what you’re saying, or struggling so much to say what you want to. It’s hard being a parent anyway. Add struggles to it and, well, it makes it more frustrating anyway. You’re right that we do all feel the same way for all of our kids. Thanks again for visiting!October 28, 2012 – 6:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Sara - Hi, I don’t know if I can say it better than those 2 ladies, but it brought to mind this song that Ani wrote after her baby girl was born. It’s slightly more about realizing that the wrinkles don’t matter in light of the beautiful life you’ve (she) created (than about how that life just doesn’t care about those wrinkles), but a similar notion, none-the-less. Also, it has the added element of “that baby looks like me so how can’t I hate how I look?”

    Great insight, great reminder, great post. Thanks.


    October 28, 2012 – 12:48 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Sara, I wasn’t familiar with that song, but it’s so true isn’t it? That our logic is flawed. Thank you so much for sharing!October 28, 2012 – 5:59 pmReplyCancel

      • admin - I especially liked the opening:
        Lately I’ve been glaring into mirrors picking myself apart
        You’d think at my age I’d thought of something better to do
        Than making insecurity into a full time job
        Making insecurity into an art
        🙂
        I guess we all do it, huh?October 28, 2012 – 6:04 pmReplyCancel

        • Sara - More than we care to admit, I’m sure.October 29, 2012 – 10:55 pmReplyCancel

          • admin - Indeed. It’s too bad we don’t appreciate the youth we have when we have it. I can even remember grandparents and other Wise Adults telling me to appreciate it. And sometimes I did. But I now know that I didn’t really “get” what they meant.October 29, 2012 – 11:08 pm

          • Sara - I’m not sure that we CAN know when we’re on the other side of the fence. Until you know, you can’t really know (y’know?). It’s like trying to describe ‘blue’ to a blind person….or the Grand Canyon to someone who’s never seen it. Without any context, it’s hard to take in the depth of what you’re being told.

            (And it’s also a convenient way to take some of the blame off of us for not listening!) 😉October 30, 2012 – 10:09 am

  • Joy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI

    Listen to the lyrics: Baz Luhrmann told us all these truths in his song! I really think of it very often and I had to think of it as I read your post!December 31, 2012 – 5:05 amReplyCancel

    • admin - I love that song! His words are perfect! <3 And yours, too!December 31, 2012 – 8:31 amReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - Ah, tears! That is such a beautiful reminder- I feel like I need to post something on my mirror to remind me of that same thing. (Although my six year old did just point out my pimple yesterday and tell me I had an “owie”. Thanks.) Glad you linked that one up on the Blog Hop so I had a chance to read it- good choice!January 2, 2013 – 4:53 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks, Stephanie! It was hard to choose one to post and honestly this isn’t my favorite of all time but I feel like I use my favorite of all time all over the place already, you know? And it is a good reminder, to all of us. We’re not going to ever look younger. Sigh…
      Thanks so much for reading and for the comment. You rock.January 2, 2013 – 7:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Beth Woolsey - I love this, Kristi! Thanks for the link.May 11, 2013 – 7:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Age 30 was one of my most depressing birthdays. I’d like to go back and give myself a snap out of it slap. I don’t think I was ever embarrassed by my parents but they were/aren’t that much older than me. Mom is 18 years old and and daddy is 20. As for catching that unflattering glimpse of something, I was curling my hair today and caught a glimpse of my elbows in the mirror. I said, “Ewww. No way my elbows are the same age as me.” Thanks for linking up with TALUMay 14, 2013 – 5:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - If only we knew then what we know now, huh? That’s funny about your elbows. I bet they got lots of lotion today;)May 14, 2013 – 8:05 pmReplyCancel

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