I guess I never fully realized just how swiftly center would find me. That industrious age bracket where you are neither the see nor the saw. You are center. The in between. Somewhere on the insides of me, I have vague & misty recollections of my parents watching Thirty-Something. Moonlighting & Cheers made their way onto our rabbit-earred television set, too. I can recall Prairie Home Companion most Saturday nights. Particularly in the summer. Rides home from the lake listening to the crackling of Garrison Keillor's voice as Mom turned the dial to find the station in our infamous-to-our-small town 1988 sky blue Volvo 5-speed diesel station wagon. His monotone heartiness would bring me to an almost instantaneous bedtime there in the back with the windows down.
I saw them as old. Lived & busy. My parents. I can remember the squishy-ness in the wrinkles of my mother's elbows. I can recall the soft, healing presence of her Oil of Olay night cold cream right out of the jar there in her back tiny green bathroom. I remember windows cracked and Vick's Vapor Rub sitting right next to her bedside two-story stack of books there on the nightstand. I remember my Dad's forearms and how strong they looked. I remember his leather belt buckle and the sunspots sprinkled across his back in the summer time. I remember his sawhorses and his handiness. I think on their walks together around the neighborhood circle after evening dinners. He would always find her hand. I remember my bike behind them peddling just until he did, then off I would speed past them as if that was all I needed to see. Never once wondering what their eyes drank in.
And now I know. Vicks Vapor Rub is my Carmex. Kenny with his stack of books a mile high beside us. Just the other day, Casey grasped my skin there at the elbow and said, "Mom, there are so many crinkly parts here on you." I know, boy. I am your in between.
I serve as center for them. And it's snuck up on me and made me smile just the same. There's a binding feeling in the middle. A sense of beautiful swirled with an ounce of deep-seeded conviction. For I am making memories not just for me, but for us. The lot of our home. My elbows tell stories to them just like hers did to me. His presence storied here and here tell them more of just who you can be. Kinda like his sawhorses and sprinkled evidence of sun there across his strong shoulders.
There's a forrealness that envelopes you. You feel it. You see the elderly with softer eyes. The younger ones, too. You know the mistakes that they'll make; you have earned those scars. Things like touch and smell and stillness have a way of revival in your veins. Beautiful lives in those moments. Laughter feels deeper and rest comes just a bit easier. Lessons fall into your lap over & over again. Ones learned and ones still hard to swallow. Vitamins and fiber and daily exercise are regimen now. Routine feels right whether you admit it or not.
The middle. A place I thought would be forever from now sits on my front porch. The view is breathtaking and a little scary for I can see the highlights and landscaped crevices a bit clearer. The past and the future joining hands there in my bracket of breathes. The lot of us moving together: our history recorded and remembered by four hearts not just one. My eyes drink in a picture not viewable from their bikes. But his hand in mine remind me, in time, they'll see.
Age brings crinkled elbows and giant swells of thankyous. It hands you chance and reminds you of the mark you leave. It finds you happy with who you are and where you've come. Neither the see nor the saw, I can still hear Garrison in my station wagon seat.
Mossimo brand blouse: $1.99 Goodwill
Old Navy skinny jeans:
Mossimo brand heels: $6.97 Target clearance