I am old. I will be 45 in September. I don’t really feel old, and I don’t think I look old, but I have long suspected that I must be old. Cashiers sell me booze without blinking, and everyone calls me ma’am.
But any doubt that I was aging died a few weeks ago, when my baby boy had to go to the Emergency Room. When they brought in his discharge papers to sign, they handed the clipboard to HIM. Not to me, his mommy, but to HIM! Lady, I don’t care if he does have five o’clock shadow and a voice like Al Green—you best hand me those papers! Screw HIPPA! And then, proud parent moment, he actually read them before signing.
In my head, he is still the cherub faced little rug rat playing with Hot Wheels, and watching continuous loop footage of The Lion King. How is he driving a lifted pick-up truck? Why is he taking Business Calculus, instead of learning his ABC’s? Why is that little girl in the lake with him wearing a string bikini instead of a ruffled tutu bathing suit? Where are their floaties? Why is he going to work this morning? I’ll tell you why!
Because I am OLD.
I don’t remember it happening. It just happened. Only yesterday my husband and I were chasing toddlers, and then we woke up and we have these two pre-men in our house. They are growing hair everywhere—EVERYWHERE—and they don’t smell like baby powder and chicken nuggets anymore.
So if that happened to them, something has to have happened to me, right?
A precursory look in the mirror, reveals—nothing. I am pretty sure I look the same as I did in college. It’s just that the college kids today look like they are in fifth grade, right? Right? Shut up! Who asked you?!
So upon closer inspection, I see—no gray hair—that’s good. Okay, so I see some very fine lines between my eyebrows, where I frown at the computer. It must be creases in my make-up, so I remove my make-up. Wait…Why are the lines still there? And when I put my eyeliner on, and add the little tail at the end, why does the tail seem to droop? I’ll tell you why!
Because my son signed his own paperwork at the Hospital. Because he is taking Business Calculus. Because he is driving a lifted pick-up truck to work every day. And because the girl riding shotgun is not in a booster seat, and she is not wearing a ruffled tutu bathing suit.
But I don’t feel old. I think my children have grown up around me, and I am still 25. The day that I look in the mirror and think I look my age will be the same day I make an appointment for Botox injections between my eyes. If my hair gets gray, no problem—L’Oreal has a solution! I will not, as the commercials say, grow old gracefully. I will fight it every step of the way.
Until I need to ring up Doctor 90210, I only need periodic rejuvenation of my mind and soul. Two things that take me back so quickly, and so perfectly to my childhood, are my sense of smell, and my taste buds. And when my nose smells something cooking that I enjoyed as a child, it is a double WHAMMY, guaranteed to bring me warm and fuzzy feelings. Like I am a little girl in a ruffled tutu bathing suit, eating lunch my granny prepared.
Below, I am sharing one of my favorite comfort foods from my childhood. Porcupine balls. No, no! This isn’t a “rocky mountain oyster” sort of thing. Porcupine balls are ground beef mixed with rice, formed into balls, and pan-fried and simmered in gravy.
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 envelopes onion soup mix
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cups long grain rice (not cooked)
- 1 cups water
- 1 can condensed French onion soup
- 2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup
- 1 cans water
Combine meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into 2” balls. Fry in a large skillet until browned on all sides. Mix soups and water together in a large bowl, and pour over meatballs. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
You have your meat and starch covered….Just serve with a salad or other vegetable!