of LMNOB’s classmates, I tend to feel somewhat insecure about my age.

It’s like, in the midst of the upper 30-something and 40-something moms, there’s speculation about my real age, which, once known they can do the math and determine whether I was a teen mom.

Well, ladies, I got news for ya: LMNOB’s 5 years of age, subtracted from my 27 years of age = I was just shy of 22 when she was born.

Twenty-two does not end in TEEN. Though, in Colorado mothering, 22 is the new 16, or so it seems.

But, in their silent judgments, there is one very true fact: LMNOB was QUITE unplanned.

Some say, “Oh, you had an accident? I see….” as they look with pity assuming Charlie Brown and I had a semi-shotgun wedding.

Uhm, no, let me correct you again. I discovered I was pregnant just one week before our SECOND wedding anniversary. Yup, I was a child bride, if not an adolescent progenitor. And, really, we prefer the term “surprise” as opposed to accident – I’m a bit sensitive to that, given my own mother’s age at the timing of my conception.

It’s just kind of interesting to see all these moms who worked pre-kids and thus are now able to stay at home (and for a number, whom Chuck and I have dubbed the ‘spandex mommies,’ this seems to mean they can and do work out ALL the time, or perhaps, as Chuck and I tend to lean, perhaps they just want the rest of us to THINK that’s what they’re doing) with the kids full-time.

And then there’s me.

I’m the half-alive-in-the-morning zombie, 10 years younger and 10 minutes later than the majority of the rest of the kindergarten mommies. I imagine they are so bubbly and energetic, not because those genes have had time to mature longer, but rather, because they are likely not as overworked, underpaid, and stretched thin as I am. Or, in their BC (before children) years, they actually may have found themselves, and are more secure with their identity. Or, they may have maids. OR……. and this is my favorite plausibility The Stepford Wives was based on a true story and they all migrated here – and while they look all put together and uniform – they’re ROBOTS!

I could be wrong. I’m probably just as wrong in my assumptions and imaginings as the above. Probably.

They at least have had the tact to keep their mouths shut, unlike the checker at the grocery store the other day. LMNOB and I stopped to get a few things after church, since Daddy was at home, nursing Punkinhead’s fever. LMNOB and some other child who appeared to be 8-ish were looking at the contraption known to cause many a tantrum on the tail end of a shopping excursion; the claw game designed to get your child’s hopes up that they too could become the owner of something shiny and new for only $1.25! Why, oh why, do they put those things where children can and inevitably do see and become drawn to them like a shoo-fly to poop?

Anyway, the checker looked over at them and then at me. And then, she uttered the words I have grown to despise;

“You don’t look old enough to have kids that age.”
This is my cue to tell her, “Oh, well, I was a young mom.” But you know, I resent that cue. It’s NONE of her business! I mean, I don’t go up to women approaching 50 who have younger children and say, “Wow, you REAL-heal-heal-Y waited to have kids, didn’t ya?”
But, instead, I just looked at her with my I’m-a-bigger-person-than-that smile, and said, “Well, the older girl isn’t mine, but thank you! So many people actually think I’m older than I am.”
In other words, I choose to take your words as a testament to my youthful appearance instead of the passage of judgment based solely on the appearance of things.

And, because I’m not really a grown-up….