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Single +1

Sarah Fowler

Oh my goodness, I’m a grown-up. You would think that that little revelation would have occurred to me sooner but it didn’t smack me in the face until the other morning. I was getting dressed for work, running around like crazy, late as usual and attempting to fix Prinny’s hair before hurrying out the door. Standing in the bathroom in front of the mirror my sweet baby said “Mommy, you look tired today.” In my experience, when someone tells you that you look tired it is a polite way of telling you that you look like sh*t. As I stood there staring at myself in the mirror I made a shocking discovery. Not only did I indeed look like sh*t but…I found my first gray hair. At 26 years old. Oh my lord. Time stopped for a moment and the room began to spin and I swear I had to lean against the wall because I thought I might faint. Vain perhaps but I pay good money for this hair color and if one gray hair has snuck it’s way through then there is no telling how many of them there really are, just waiting at the ready to spring to life and remind me that I’ve apparently got one foot in the grave. Leaning against the cool of my bathroom wall it hit me that the carefree days of my youth are gone and I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20. Just typing those words I had to choke down a sob. Say it isn’t so…
Blanche Devereaux has a famous quote that says “Girls mature faster in the South. I think it’s the heat.” Honey, I couldn’t agree with you more. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times but a 26 year old Southern woman is nothing like a 26 year old woman living in New York City. Down here we get married in our early twenties and before you know it we have a mortgage and daycare expenses. A typical Tuesday night for most of us involves bath time, bottles and bedtime stories. Up North, I would think you would be hard pressed to find a woman in her mid twenties rocking her baby to sleep and then curling up on the couch next to her husband to watch the finale of Top Chef. It just doesn’t happen that way.
When I first moved back to Mississippi, I tired desperately to balance being a Mommy and being a 22 year old divorcee. Shockingly enough, it didn’t work out that well. The bar scene gets very old very quickly and after a while it just seems like the same old people doing the same old thing. No thanks. I would rather be in the comfort of my smoke-free home, my baby asleep in her bed, me lounging in a old t-shirt and flannel pjs, drinking from a six dollar bottle of wine and watching reruns on the History channel. Dang it, I am a grown-up. And boring. But the thing is, I kind of like it that way.
I was out shopping the other day and a woman asked me how old I was. When I responded with “26″ she quipped “Really? Huh. You look good for your age.” Um, OK. I’m not quite sure what that meant but I don’t think it was a compliment. These days, I’ve traded my six inch heels for practical ballet flats, nights of partying for Candyland championships and boyfriends for babydolls. And I can’t imagine it any other way. I’m happy. Plain and simple. It seems like all of a sudden I’ve woken up to this wonderful life but I know that it didn’t just happen overnight. I’ve worked really hard to create this life for us and Prinny and I have come a long way in the last several years. Now everything I’ve worked so hard for is right in front of me and I have nothing left to do but enjoy it. When I was younger the idea of settling down sent a chill down my spine but now…now I love coming home from work, cuddling on the couch with my baby and going to bed after the first 15 minutes of Jon Stewart. I’m settled. And I’m a grown-up. And dang it, that makes me unbelievably happy. Gray hair and all.

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3 comments

  1. Single -3

    Gray hair? Really? Kids can, and will, give one gray hair; but, even I didn’t get gray hair in my 20s. And, I guess kids can, and will, cause one to become all grown up overnight; but, it will take more than this to grow you up. And, I hate to disappoint you. I really do. But, you are a long way from grown up. As is with any due credit, I believe you are slightly beyond the “child with child” stage. But, you’re still a long way from grown up. There’s still so much yet to learn. Check back with me when you are 46 and not 26 and let’s see if you know what you want to “be”, yet, when you grow up…because it’s very probable you won’t be “grown up” at 46 either.

  2. Mike

    For some reason based upon reading your colums, I do not picture you watching the History Channel. I gree with Single-3. You aren’t that grown up when you have to run home and live 20 minutes from momma!

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