Back to The Future

August 2nd, 2011

It’ll be an ordinary moment in an ordinary day.
I’ll be driving along with a car full of kids and groceries. We’ve had a typical day, nothing out of the ordinary. I’ll be going through my list of to-dos: cook dinner, get child (b) to hip-hop, child (a) to some school thing I’ve been told about numerous times but just can’t quite remember what it was right at that particular moment. Child (c) has an orthodontic appointment sometime in there too. . . or was that child (b)? Oh heck, I’ll just take all three of them.

There will be discussions about taking out the trash when we get home, finishing homework, piano practice, and other afternoon activities.
Just normal stuff. Just me-being-a-mum-and-them-being-kids stuff.

Then bam, out of nowhere, a wave washes over me and I freeze in time. Before I know it I seem to rise up and have a complete out-of-body experience. From somewhere else I see this middle age woman living this ordinary moment and I wonder:
Who is she, and how did she get here?

Wasn’t she just a teenager the other day worrying about how big she could get her hair and which fluorescent belt to wear to the roller rink? Wasn’t it yesterday she was devastated that the cute guy a year above her didn’t even know she existed? And why, I’m sure she was just dancing to Cindy Lauper with school friends and trying not to get busted for sneaking in after curfew and other such naughty thin – oh yes, girls just do just wanna have fun! Wasn’t she wishing just the other day to be older and able to make her own damn decisions, and quietly hoping to be more than she really believed possible? I’m sure it was only yesterday she had her first heart break, ears pierced, was in love with the whole of Duran Duran, buying an endless array of leg warmers, and …….

“Mum, MUUUUUUM, did you hear me?” A child from the backseat asks.
…Mum?
Who me?
Where am?
Who are you?
And how did I get here?
Seriously, how did this happen? Are they talking to me? Is it true that I really do have to cook all these people dinner tonight?

So before I know it, the teenager is flung some 20 years forward and thrown back into her future- which is really her present. A present this middle aged woman can’t quite believe she lives, where ordinary moments become quite extraordinary simply because somehow she’s here, already. And the teenage girl is left far behind scratching her big hair wondering how on earth all this happened. She wishes she had listened to Frankie when he told her to “Relax” for sure enough, the world just changed in the blink of an eye.

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  1. OMG, you made me tear up with this post!  It is SO true.  My kid’s are teenagers and I find myself going back to my youth more often now than when they were tots. 

    It truly was like yesterday!

  2. ian says:

    Yes Trina, isn’t it amazing how time catches you out? Having teens makes me feel so old some days while other times I still feel like one! Happy parenting to you :)

  3. JJ says:

    Oh so well said!!  The days are long but the years are short, it’s about the truest thing I’ve ever heard.  
    And my ongoing commitment (and sometimes struggle) to keep my present middle aged life as extraordinary as I promised myself it would be back in the big hair leg warmers days.