Someday (Lord willing and the crick don’t rise) I will be an old lady. I will have dry tufts of hair that I do not know what to do with and I will wear too much makeup or none at all and I will walk more slowly than I imagine myself to be going because I will still picture myself moving at the rapid pace I used to stride in my early 20s. I will be old, and my children will be grown and will have children of their own (because that is their duty to their mother) who are also growing up and playing Little League or are on the high school debating team. And I will be very proud of all of them, although they live too far away and it is hard for me to fly and I just don’t see them as much as I would like to.
I will be a feisty old lady, but I will need to see doctor for my Thisitis and my That Syndrome and I am sure there will be regular trips to medical center to get blood drawn to see about my Whatever levels. When I am there one day, I will see a mother, tired, hair unwashed, milk dripping though her shirt. She will be cradling a newborn, a wee thing that has just been subjected to blood tests and has finally collapsed in her mother’s arms.
I will be the type of old lady who stops and talks to the mother. I will ask how old and what is the sex and is she your first? The mother will be too tired to answer, but she will be polite, although all she really wants to do is worry about her baby. I will know this, but I won’t be able to stop myself.
Because, although I will be an old lady, for a moment I will be in my thirties once again. I will smell your sweet smell of milk and new skin and faintly of Oreo cookies. I will feel the fuzz of your hair against my lips. I will remember you curling into a ball and then slowly stretching out of it as you wake. I will see the wrinkles of your brow and the angel kiss on your forehead and the eyes as they slowly close off to sleep. I will hear your mewl as you search for my breast, and my breasts will, just for a moment, feel the tingle of your fierce latch and my eager letdown.
When I am an old lady, Lilah, you will be the last baby that I remember so well. It is the moments with you I am working to appreciate because there will not be another. I will remember all my children, of course, but it is your newborn moments that will stop me as I walk out of the medical center, resting an aching hip, and bring me back to when we were all so young.