Wisdom from a Millennial Son, for His Mother

'Hey, Mom, when are you going to stop trying to look like you did when I was a little kid?' — whoa!

by Mary Catherine Connor | Updated 17 Jul 2017 at 7:13 AM

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I always associated “wisdom” in the form of a wake-up call from older generations with broad experience, as well as successful professionals and experts in a variety of fields and endeavors.

That is, until my millennial son blew my world wide open with one question.

We were getting dressed for a Mexican dinner out. He was on time, as usual, and I was running a bit late, with hair and makeup woes. He looked at his watch, shook his head and said, “Hey, Mom, when are you going to stop trying to look like you did when I was a little kid?”

I held my hairbrush in midair, stunned.

He was right, of course — "out of the mouths of babes," whether they're very young or further on. Kids can hit you with their best shot and tell you the raw truth when you least expect it.

Later than evening, I went for a long walk alone to ponder. Here I was, a single mom from the 40-and-beyond group. Had I become stuck with an impossible ideal of maintaining an exterior profile of youth long gone? With my trademark long straight hair, frosted blonde streaks, along with daily digs of retro leggings, who was I kidding? Certainly not my son — and now, not myself, either.

Of course, we moms who single-parent our kids as tots all the way along to successful maturity have worked hard to get there, while maintaining a safe, comfortable, and spiritually enriching home for our children. In doing so, there may be lonely times when our modern culture's pressures become too tempting to resist. "Look young, be young again and life will reward you" — really?

Moreover, as someone who's not in such professions as entertainment or the media, which often demand a woman's youthful appearance, I can't justify plastic surgery, electric face-firming gadgets, lotions and potions, or rigorous work-out programs — all for the goal of not just looking young but staying young.

Related: 'It Never Occurred to Us to Be Victims': One Mom's Tale

Still, I can't judge any gal, no matter her lifestyle or work style, who chooses any of these options to look her best. It's just that for who I am, my son was right. I couldn't pull it off any longer. Like many of my female friends in our sewing circle, we've had a good laugh, proud of the fact that, in a myriad of ways, we've earned these lines! (go to page 2 to continue reading)

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  2. #wisdom
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  5. mature mom
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