Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. ~Faith Baldwin
My parents were married in 1955 and the kids followed quickly; 1956, 1958, and 1959 each saw a new child. By the time the third one rolled around, the doctor pulled my father into the office and explained to him that he had to stop getting Mom pregnant; after three so quickly, another one would likely kill her.
I'm sure Mom didn't mind the break, either, what with three in diapers at once.
But medical science and young motherhood being what they are, eventually my mother forgot to take the pill one December morning. And, nearly six years after everyone else, I came along. And with my birth came my struggle with time, wondering where and how I fit into the continuum.
By now, my brothers were 6 and 7 years old, and my sister was 9. Growing up, I remember crying in my mother's arms that I was born too late - I didn't fit in. Everyone was so much older than me. My sister, Techno-Goddess, thought of me as a living doll. She mothered me, played school and taught me to read, and taught me every song on Elton John's album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. My brothers basically just beat me up a lot and made me miserable.
When it was time for Kindergarten, my mom had me tested and was told that while I was ready to go academically (I could already read at a second grade level or better), I was tiny and would probably get beaten up. Wanting to spare me, Mom and Dad held me back a year and I started when I was five - and turned six just a month later. School was always a bit hard; I was older than the other kids and I already lived with 5 people who were much older than me. It alienated me from the other kids; they felt I talked "too big" and I got along better with the teachers than I did with most kids my age.
Fast forward about 20 years. After I graduated from high school I went through a very long, painful period in my life that I pretty much just prefer to ignore; except for specific cherished memories those years do not exist. It's as though I erased 7 years from my life, restarting the clock again when I hit 25 years old and went to college for 2 years. When I graduated and moved back to my hometown, I started attending a local church and made friends with a group that were all 6 years younger than me. I didn't try to make it happen, it just did.
When I was 32, I met Champs quite by accident. At the time, he was 25 - 7 years my junior. Love being what it is, the age difference didn't matter and we got married. Got a great job, had a baby, bought a house. When I turned 40, my life was chronologically equivalent to a 34 year-old. It has stayed right there. By the calendar, I am 44, but when I look at my life, I feel like I am 38. I am vain enough to hope I look 38 and not 44, but that's not too big of a deal.
To add to the age-oddness I feel, my Mother-in-law is only one year older than my sister, and my brother-in-law was born the year I graduated from high school.
The older I get, the more I realize that time is fluid and we're all just riding the waves. The higher the numbers go, the more irrelevant they become.