The Time Has Come

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:

Like, for instance, the realization now firmly in hand, that neither of us - neither The Great Husband or his wife (that would be me, variously known as "missus," "young lady," and "mom") - has any time left in this life to wait for better health habits. Either we return to being skinnier now, or the whole idea slips further and further from our lives as we have lived them. The cumulative effects have begun their adding and the sum is too near ill health and a painfully slow old age. It's time to deal with this because there is no time left.

Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--

And school -- and kids -- and peeling paint -- Of marriages -- and things. See, here's the dealeo. My kids aren't kids, and they're off doing their own lives, and they have decided at last to discount utterly what their parents have learned about interpersonal relationships and commitment and the connection between our souls (so easily shredded, so hard to repair) and our bodies (which seem immortal when we're in our twenties). Okay, fine. That's what the Walrus and the Carpenter have decided. They have to do what they have to do, and if they have decided that their parents are too ridiculously traditional or hide-bound or small-minded or hyper-sensitive to understand how things are in the "real" world, there is nothing left for us to do but pay attention to the many and enormous things we love about these former children of the household. And there is a lot to be happy about.

And why the sea is boiling hot--

And whether pigs have wings."

It isn't. And they don't. But if no one who needs this information is listening, then maybe it's not time to talk yet. Maybe, instead, it's time to gasp at a suddenly clear blue sky and be completely happy about the approaching short spate of warm weather. Maybe it's time to get new creativity nurtured (lessons instead of classes? okay! I can do that!) -- maybe it's time to weed the house and decorate the yard and just. Be. Happy.

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;

Okay. I can wait a bit. I know how. The Oysters aren't ready. Then, there's nothing for it. Here I sit. Here I wait. Here I dig and here I play. This sand slips through the glass, with unrelenting certainty, and it doesn't ever flow the other way, but this sand also makes castles and wonders and beauty. Shall I moan that the tide comes in?

For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"

I shall not moan. Many mothers moan.
Many mothers moaning mumbling
make a musing every morning,
that their lives are dull and flat.
The children never call us.
The house is empty now.
What will I do with all my time
if no one needs me? How
shall I be happy
if my whole day is mine?

I know, I know. I've gone over this a thousand times. I keep coming back to check. Am I doing it? Am I being the mom of adults? Am I being the woman in the middle of a century of life, who knows that most people don't get a century, and that if this life of mine is going to be lived, I'd better get to it? Raising my kids took my whole body, my whole soul, every ounce of my being, and it was for them - not for me.

The tide turned. The sand caved in. The castle that contained their childhoods is washed out to sea, and our midlife is here, and we are together. And now we are really really good at tides. Oysters eventually produce pearls. That much we know.

"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

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