What I Found in My Purse

I found a few things in my purse tonight that made me smile and remember a family conversation about favorite life stages. Tucked in the corners of the bottom of my purse were a tiny hair clip, a red barrette and a hot pink pony tail holder. They made me smile, thinking about how my daughter, who likes her hair wild and free, often takes any sort of hair accessory out within an hour. When we’re out and about, I just shove them in my purse. They accumulate.

On Easter a couple years ago, my family and I played Table Topics. My grandmother drew the question, “What has been your favorite life stage so far?” This was a great one for her to have drawn because her answer was bound to possess far more depth than if my twentysomething brother or I had drawn it. My grandmother obviously had more life experience than all of us and I was curious for her answer.

I was not disappointed. In her seventies, my grandmother didn’t even have to think about it. She quickly said, “When I was raising my family and the kids were young.”

I found this interesting on several levels. Her husband, who was present, was not who she raised her family with. Though they had been high school sweethearts, they went on to marry different people and had only reconnected after they were both in their sixties.

I had expected a sugar coated, “My favorite life stage is now.” Or something of that nature and the visceral response surprised me. At the time I had a two year old that made me tired. I often felt like I was failing in some regard or another trying to keep it all together. When my grandmother gave that response I remember thinking, “Really?  Surely retirement is far more fulfilling and more restful.”

What I love about my current life stage: sweet adoration and lack of inhibitions. My four year old has no awareness of embarrassment and marches to the beat of her own drum. She adores me and seems oblivious to my inadequacies. She is the most empathetic child I’ve ever seen.

And she leaves tiny pieces of her and me everywhere she goes. Like hair clips I found in my purse. While I have no doubt that retirement will be interesting, I need to remember that people who have experience valued this life stage the best.


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  1. What a sweet story. Love it!!! 🙂

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