Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The older you get, the less you care

Yesterday morning, I put on a clay facial mask then wiped it off during my shower. Afterward, I rushed out to take a three-hour CPR training course for a Girl Scout troop I run. Next, I stopped by an appliance store because we're in the market for some new kitchen stuff, had lunch at a deli, took Sabrina to lacrosse practice and then drove her to gymnastics. Cut to bedtime, as I'm washing my face.

There, on the tip of my nose, lay a blob of gray clay. The kind of dot you might put on the end your nose if it were, say, Halloween and you were dressing up as a mouse. Only no, I was just going through my day, masquerading once again as an adult. Perhaps people thought I was modeling some makeup trend, like smoldering colored cat eyes (an actual spring 2015 look), although that's unlikely.

Oh, well, I thought, and washed my face without a single twinge of mortification.

One gift of getting older is that you care less and less of what people think of you. This has come in handy with everything from getting undressed at the gym to feeling confident in comfort shoes of dubious style. This is not to be confused with wanting to make a good impression—of course I still care about that. But I have no concerns about looking imperfect, behaving atypically and not being the good girl (or, evidently, of literally getting caught with mud on my face).

This indifference has been vital for advocating for Max's needs; I'm not concerned about whether anyone thinks I am being "pushy" or worse. Actually, raising Max has definitely contributed to this marching to the beat of my own drum thing. As the parent of a kid with special needs, you learn to look for unexpected solutions, because you often need to get around the system and because you will do anything possible to help your kid. There is no normal to follow and you quit caring about it; there is only the normal of the child in front of your eyes and the kind your family creates around him.

So thank you, Max, and thank you, age, for this gift. If anyone would like to fill me in on the other benefits that age brings, please do as I'm still waiting to find out.


  1. I am very much of a "beat to my own drum" person.Not being afraid of looking "pushy" when advocating is awesome. And I am 17.

  2. I, too, embrace my imperfections and don't care as much what people think

  3. The way I cope with being different is being more different. On weekends, I sometimes put blue streaks in my hair.

  4. Oh man-yes. I realize my momma bear instincts for advocating have gotten me past pleasantries and down to business without worrying about if I am being too pushy. This in other relationships has also led me to have less tolerance for those who are not kind. Might sound backwards. I love getting dressed up etc. I love having my hair done but my life doesn't revolve around those key elements they revolve around being the best I can of myself and quite frankly high heels and even wedges are not the practical thing to wear when chasing after a tantruming or escaping child.

  5. Glad you've learned not to care. I had to laugh because I understand how you must have felt. I went into synagogue and up onto the bima with my hair all windblown and a big leaf on top No one in my family said a thing. I discovered it when I got home and looked in the mirror. Sheesh!

  6. I've never really cared what others think. My 16yo doesn't either, so there's probably a certain personality trait. But I was shy until I had a special-needs child. You can't be shy and advocate for your child-his pain makes you become strong in a way I never imagined.


Thanks for sharing!

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