About a year ago, I looked in the mirror and saw something I hadn’t seen before. I saw a grey hair. I kind of freaked out a little bit. I mean, I was only 28. Aren’t old people supposed to have grey hair? Why did I have one already? It wasn’t fair.
When I first had Kaylie, I was asked constantly by strangers if I was babysitting, or if she was my little sister. I said, time and time again, that she was my daughter. I’d get weird looks and rude comments, but usually I got the exact same response over and over: “You look too young to have a child!” Yes. Thank you. I know. I am. But these things, sometimes they just happen and LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY.
When I complained about this “problem” of mine, I’d get told, “Oh, just wait till you’re older. You’ll appreciate it then.”
When Liliana came along, most medical professionals I dealt with assumed that it was my first pregnancy. I was newly married and I was 23, so why wouldn’t they think that? Still, though, I looked like I was about 18. I’d get dumbfounded expressions when I said no, this will be my second child. I have a five-year-old at home. Say what?!
With Preston, this happened again. First pregnancy? First baby? Are you looking forward to being a first-time mom? Have you ever changed a diaper before? You what?! You have two kids already? You look too young to be on your third child! We were in a new city, pretty much everyone I met I was meeting for the first time, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. But it still got to me. I mean, they didn’t mean any harm, obviously, but I’d been getting the same thing for 10 years already. It was getting old. Unlike me, apparently.
In Toronto, I obviously met a ton of new people. And it was great. I quite like meeting people, and didn’t meet a single person I didn’t like. But we’d get to the subject of kids, and when I answered that my eldest child is eleven, I’d get the dumbfounded look again. You have an eleven-year-old? I would have guessed you were only about 21! Or, How old were you when you had her? Twelve? I smiled, I nodded, and I sighed. This is going to go on my whole life, isn’t it? When am I going to start enjoying it? It can start happening any time now.
In the last couple weeks, I’ve been noticing more of these little grey hairs popping up. They’re only around my temples, but there’s one particularly noticeable one that I see every time I look in the mirror. And do you want to know what? I like it. I like them. All of them. All of the grey hairs, I like them.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m okay with getting older. I turn 30 next year and I’m kind of freaking out about it, but at this rate? At the rate these grey hairs keep popping up? Maybe by the time May rolls around, I’ll have enough of them that maybe I’ll actually look like I’m supposed to be 30. Maybe for once in my life I won’t get a shocked/appalled/dumbfounded response when I mention the age of my children or how many I have. Maybe I’ll actually look my age. And I will like it.
These grey hairs? I’m keeping them.