Find Jack Banner OCT21

Rear Window

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

I had a frightening experience the other night.  I woke up in the middle of the night and got up to get a drink of water when I saw what looked like an old, crazed lunatic pass by a window.  It about scared the life out of me.  I jumped back behind a wall, slowly sticking my head around the corner trying to summon up the courage to reach out for the phone to call 911, when I saw the would-be intruder peaking around a corner, too.  One part of my brain was saying, "run for the hills," but the other part of my brain was saying, "Wait a minute!  There's something very familiar about that person."

Yeah, the person should have looked familiar…turns out the old, crazed lunatic was me.  I was looking at a reflection of me in the window.  

"OMG!" I said to myself as I reached to feel my face, then moving my hands in an effort to flatten the Don King hairstyle my reflection and I were sporting.  "What in the h-e-double toothpicks has happened to me?!"

I peered more closely at the reflection and realized that I looked like I was about a thousand years old.  When did this happen, I thought to myself?  Then, I remembered.  It began right about the time I started having kids.  The sleepless nights wandering the halls carrying a wailing infant; the tantrums in Target; the slumber parties with 27 third-grade girls (true story); the driving lessons I had to give; and other "joyful" moments of Parenting had turned me into someone I didn't even recognize.  My once healthy, shiny, curly hair had turned into a lifeless, gray-streaked (only when I don't make it in to see Norma at Paragon every six weeks like clockwork) frizz-ball.  And, as bad as my hair looks on most days, it's my eyes that are really frightening.  When I don't have what my daughter has dubbed my "crazy eyes" look, I tend to sport that "deer-in-the-headlight" look on my face.  Probably left over from all the times I was asked to "please refrain your children from licking the glass" when I would take the kids out in public.

There's no arguing the fact that having kids tends to change a person.  It's kinda' like looking at those pictures the media is so fond of showing of the president: one of the day he takes office and one after he's been in office for a couple of years.  He's a little grayer and a little more wrinkled.  It's the same with parents.  Show a picture of a "BC mom" (before children), and she looks vibrant, youthful, fit, and maybe even glamorous.  Show a picture of a mom with a couple of kids under the age of five and one on the way, and she looks, well, tired.  Kinda' like an old, crazed lunatic who passes by in the window late at night.

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Tags: Featured Story, Parenting

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