Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Brain

So many of my sistahs--accomplished women of my age--have complained lately their propensity towards brainlessness. Is it our age? Circumstances? Hormonal imbalances? All I can say is it seems we'd all somehow agreed to share a brain, passing it around before we're really ready to, you know, like when we still could be using it. Mind you, I am privileged to hang with a really talented group of women, so we are all terribly chagrined about this sudden scourge of intelligence.

I regularly sit in my office, rolling my eyes toward the ceiling, trying to capture a word I'm thinking of...begins with a p...p p pppppa. This wouldn't be so bad if I weren't a writer. And when the other thoughts fly in--need dental floss, E's evening performance, sugar-free chocolate?--I take dictation on my little lime green Post-It pad: A life in stickies.

My daughter finds this hysterical--the notes stuck to the coffee pot, the calendar, the mirror. I glare at her and say I didn't used to be this way, before I was a mom. I used to have a life, a fully firing brain and goals. Not anymore. And it's been a bittersweet adjustment.

What I am realizing, however, is that it's all a trade off. I had my daughter at 34, and what I traded in energy from my 20s I (hopefully) made up for in patience and common sense. I am realizing that my calling to do Eve's Daughters, and to raise my own daughter well, necessitated that I lose some of my previous efficiency. It's requiring a transparency, a realness, a humility I didn't use to have. I had lose some of my polish to earn a different kind of glow, if you know what I mean--the kind that comes from recognizing that we're indeed growing older but perhaps deeper and more beautiful, less afraid and rigid. It impacts our work, our relationships and our mothering, but I find I have less to prove these days, and that, in itself, is pretty freeing.

How has your parenting changed as you've aged?

1 comment:

suedonaldson said...

i was told that you lose 25% of your brain with each child. i'm down to 25%
of course, the heart and fear and love and pride has expanded in its place - if i can only remember where i put my keys...