According to my birth certificate, “Baby Girl” is 62 years old. It’s a dark and stormy Monday afternoon and I am staring at a blank screen. I think of “It was a dark and stormy night….”and I smile. This is English Comp 101, and my writing prompt is a question by Satchel Paige: How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?
Now I am 18, a freshman in college, and staring at a blank sheet of paper while twirling and tapping my pen. I am afraid that I don’t know what to write, or how to write it. I am nervous because some of my fellow students are writing furiously. I am 5 years old and just figured out that the “Redbirds” are the slow readers. I am a “Redbird”. I want my Mommy. And then I am 33 and a new Mother, and I hug and comfort my 5 year old self and my 1 year old son.
My son is 5 and playing on the playground. He’s about to perform a daring feat and he yells, “Look at me Mom, look at me!”. I turn to look at him and he’s in his cap and gown graduating from high school, and I am 50. I shake my head to clear my thoughts, and suddenly I am back to 62, and my screen has 221 words on it.
How old am I? I am a year younger than my husband, but he has late stage Lewy Body Dementia and I can’t really know how “old”he is. My son is 29 and this makes me feel old! My calendar age is 62, but I feel young or old depending on my mental or emotional status report for the moment. As a young girl, I remember pedaling hard to get to the top of the hill, and as I went over the top of the hill I could stop pedaling and feel the speed and the wind in my hair. I wanted to do this again and again… and I still do.