Some of the strangest memories I had as a child include being shuffled off to friends' houses for the weekend so my mom could go to Rock Concerts. I remember when she went to see The Rolling Stones in Jacksonville in 1975. I was 14. She went and saw The Who. Pink Floyd. AC/DC, Jethro Tull and more.
I was so embarrassed by her behavior. I begged her to grow up. A lot. She just laughed and kept on partying. My friends thought my mom was great. I had "The Cool Mom."
As I grew up, I watched my mom morph into a dozen different people. She always seemed to be able to go with the flow of change.
I thought I was like that once. After leaving Christianity, embracing Judaism (since abandoned), having an Unassisted Birth, coming out lesbian and moving 3000 miles from home, my mom said, "Barbara Ellen, if you told me you were going to be African-American, I wouldn't bat an eye."
But lately, I feel I have gotten mired in the mud of old age. And criminy, I am a mere 54 years old! Many of my sentences seem to start, "I was in the birth world for 33 years..." and continue with The Way Things Were In the Olden Days.
A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon pictures of a wide variety of amazing things in birth... pictures I'd used to teach, not only my students, but also in my blog. The student group I shared them with were mesmerized! And LOVED them! I felt useful for awhile. And it was nice.
Today, however, was a discussion that took me right back to being that elderly, retired midwife. The topic is irrelevant (and it was in a private group), but after sharing my horror at the topic, I gradually learrned I was, by far, in the minority. When did that happen? How had I missed the advancement of a midwifery skill by being out of the loop for a mere 3 years? And it isn't like I have NO fingers in the midwifery pie anymore, either! I participate in several midwifery groups and run my Navelgazing Midwife Facebook Page.
Goddess, I feel old.
I wrote out that list the other day of things I think about writing. My history. My life. Is it over? Am I really considering writing my Autobiography at 54? Is there still time and space for growth?
Being a Crone has been an honored position for eons. In many ways, I feel like my knowledge is appreciated... my memories important. In others, I feel like I am sitting here, in my recliner, with 2 broken feet, watching everyone else's life move forward, while I, especially when writing, am stationary. Ha! Or going backwards?
Is living in/replaying the past (and being MIRED in it!) necessary for writing one's memoirs? I am lost and wish I had someone to ask.
I don't want to be left behind. I don't want to sound stupid when I share midwifery knowledge.
I want to remain relevant.
Gangsta Grandma refers to my mom. Her musical tastes have evolved over the decades, always embracing the different genres as they came and went. Her most recent incarnation has been enjoying (gads, LOVING!) Gangsta Rap. My mom is 74 years old. It is frightening to be in her car as she has screaming rap on the radio. I rarely go anywhere with her unless I am driving. Her license plate says, in very few, but clear, letters: Gangst Grandma. I am the stick in the mud, she reminds me often. "Listen to it! It's poetry!" she begs me. I stick my fingers in my ears and sing, "la la la la la" to drown out the horrible words and sounds.
What would happen if I took my fingers out of my ears? If I read the words instead of trying to decipher them through all the screaming? What might I learn?
Who knew I would still have profound lessons coming from mom when I is so flippin' old.
Mama and Meghann