My Wiccan friends call it “The Phase of the Wise Woman”. Every culture has some form of acknowledgement of the stages of womanhood — Most refer to it as The Maiden, The Mother and The Crone. I haven’t been a maiden in a long, long time. And now I am discovering as my personal summers increase and my moon phases decrease that I am slowly entering the Crone phase of my life. I’m not sure I like that idea or that term.
My daughters (three of whom are really just beginning the “Mother” phase) have jested that this means for me is that I can stop worrying about the hair on my legs and start shaving my mustache and chin. Yeah, I didn’t think it was funny either. I guess this is where the Wise Woman phase kicks in. I laugh at them because I KNOW that one day, in the not so distant future, if God blesses them to continually wake up one day at a time that they too, will be in this phase. And ladies it comes fast. One minute, you’re child-proofing your house, the next you’re taking PremPro.
In some cultures, it is the responsibility of the “older women” to take the younger men and teach them all that they need to know for those years when they are seeking maidens to make mothers. I’m assuming that there has to be at least a ten year age difference, so Brad Pitt, I’m sorry, I can’t help you now. But I do have a list. Michael Ealy, Wentworth Miller, Justin Timberlake, Colin Farrell, Orlando Bloom and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Gentlemen, have your people call my people.
For those that are still in the Mother phase, let me tell you this before you gloat with your ovaries popping out potential offspring on a regular basis– while I loved that phase of my life, just as I loved the Maiden phase of high school and some of college where my major worry was a deadline for a research paper, there are parts that I don’t miss, won’t miss and laugh because you’re going to go through things that you have thought about. I’ll expound…
1. Sleep deprivation. I was informed, after receiving a rocking chair for Eid, that it is more than acceptable for me to sit on my porch with a wonderful glass of tea and take naps. I can go to bed in the middle of the day and stay there all day if I want. I can sleep, rest, relax, chillax. Pick a word, I can do it!
2. T-Shirts and sweats. I’ll still wear them, but guess what? My breasts are no longer double-D’s with an appendage that cries when they can’t get to them. I don’t have to worry about milk spewing down the front of my shirt, onto my pants and just all over the place. (Those that bottle-fed have no idea!) My husband has a t-shirt that says “Breasts are like toy trains. They are made for the kids, but usually the dad plays with them.” My husband and I will test this theory often.
3. Diaper changes. OMG, there are some smells that emanate from the hind end of the most adorable babies that give new meaning to “dirty bombs”. I don’t even have those kinds of smells! And often they eat the same things that adults do and we don’t smell like that.
4. Potty-training. Keep it for yourselves! My daughters bring my grands to me and come to me for advice because they don’t know how they were potty trained. The newly burgeoning Wise Woman in me will give you the secret: hardwood/linoleum floors, bare bottoms and a good mop. Disinfectant helps too, especially if you have stair-steps.
5. Coitus interruptus. Okay, if you don’t have locks on your doors and you do have toddlers, please get locks on your doors. Put a chair in front of it. Those who haven’t done these things can tell you why. My oldest claims that she had to go to therapy in her early 20s because she had boundary issues at three. Just remember that there are some things you just can’t unsee. In fact, I still have that image of my parents in the middle of the afternoon on a day when I was out of school and supposed to be outdoors playing but I saw my dad’s car in the driveway and wanted to play with him. Daddy’s little girl learned that dad had a big girl too. Anyway, I think I’m still traumatized.
There are so many things that I have to look forward to now. I’m not saddled with chasing children, play dates, Gerber, potty-training and Garanimals. I can finish some books, sew for pleasure, watch more than Beyond the Lions and Sesame Street. My husband and I can extend date night to weekend excursions, think two-seater convertible Chevy Corvette. Oh my goodness, I just thought about no car seats, strollers, diaper bags, toy bags. Hubby will be able to walk barefoot in the house without fear of lockjaw because he stepped on toy cars or train set tracks.
I am in good company now. Tina Turner. Cher, Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, Ivana Trump, Jamie Lee Curtis. We are all wise women. We don’t have to sit in rockers and smell like Ben Gay. We are active and we get to do all the things we dreamed about. The world is ours!
So laugh you Maidens and Mothers! I can do the happy dance while screaming like somebody just learning about the end of slavery. I AM FREE!! I’M FREE!!