Yes, it's true. After months of anticipating it, of being horrified over it, of moving forward day by day by day with extreme trepidation, today was my birthday. I'm now officially fifty and I want to say that the stupidest thing I did to prepare myself for this birthday was that I ruined my last couple of months of being forty-nine preparing myself for it. I spent so much time saying I was turning fifty that I wasted my last chance ever to say I was forty-nine.
All I can think is that it must be some kind of cruel joke, a mom heading into menopause, her hormones going nuts, with a son who's busted through adolescence, also a hormonal mess, and a daughter who's starting to develop, a pre-teen, and yes, also a mass of raging hormones. All in the same household, all at the same time. Everyday we wake up and there's an assessment: who's the biggest nut today?
My behavior comes out in a kind of heat-motivated panic about the state of the household. One more dropped toy of Daughter's; Bar Mitzvahzilla's whole wardrobe, somehow, stashed behind the bathroom door where he changes each morning; the idea that they ran out of soap in their shower apparently months ago and just kept on taking showers with no soap instead of asking for a new bar. This drives menopausal mom crazy. Actually, I think this would drive any mom crazy.
Then there's Bar Mitzvahzilla. He's taking a lot of showers lately. Either he's discovered that, yes, he has body odor or I don't want to know why. When he's outside of the shower he's now spotless. He alternates between being untalkative, mainly because he's got earbuds in his ears, or too talkative, presenting a pressing case for why he needs to get Xbox Live - because all of his friends have it - and how unbelievable it is that he doesn't have it. He has limitless, inexhaustible energy for this conversation, but I am a ticking time bomb.
Then there's Daughter. Her exhibit of hormones shows mainly in her great exits. Just like a movie star in the 1950s, she loves to make a final dramatic remark and storm out of a room. She thrives on this. I should've known something like this would happen, after all, I had her when I was thirty-nine. That meant she started Kindergarten when I was forty-five. Yes. So now - Menopause and Puberty at the same time.
I try to think back to what I remember of this when I was a kid but all I come up with is when my mother went through menopause. For ten years.
The final member of our household is mild-mannered and poor beleaguered Husband, not a hormonal mess and not in a midlife crisis. Despite a blameless life, he's stuck living with the three of us in the Hormone House.
Are there any hormonal problems in your house? Do you remember having one growing up? Any evidence of midlife crisis? Did you like your birthday post-childhood?