Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hands That Rocked The Cradle

Old age sneaked up on me last night while I slept. In eight seriously short hours, my hands morphed into those of my mother’s.
While gazing at the reflection in my bathroom mirror I saw that my kneecaps had crawled up to reside forever underneath my eyes. My teeth were yellow and they were not like that yesterday. I would need to use half a box of baking soda to get them white again. Since Clorox is not an option, I just won't smile all day. Who knows, I might not crack my yellow teeth again for the rest of my life.

Ten extra pounds appeared on my scales this morning. Ten pounds! That’s a whole dress size. I’ll be sipping cranberry juice and taking up residence in the bathroom until the mortician comes to claim my bones.
Wasn’t it just last week that I was folding baby diapers and making formula? Okay, so maybe that’s stretching it, but it seems like last week. It seems like I dropped the kids off at school, went to my exercise class, played three sets of tennis, did the laundry and then cooked a healthy dinner for a family of four all the while grinning like a Cheshire Cat. With white teeth. 
My hands — my mother’s hands —are useless to me. They refuse to do what I tell them to do. When I order them to pick up the newspaper from off the floor, to wash the breakfast dishes or to pick up the comb and rake it through my tangled hair, they totally ignore me. Why should they pay attention when these hands do not belong to me.
The awful truth is, I don’t want to comb my hair because I don’t relish going anywhere near a mirror. Lord knows what other changes might be waiting to jump out at me.
If my hands would function the way they ought to, I would email my kids today. I haven’t heard from either one of them in a while but they are busy with jobs, families and their own issues. Still, I miss them a lot today, more than usual. Maybe I will call them tonight when I won't have to eat up my minutes if I can get my decrepit fingers to manipulate the miniscule numbers on my iPhone.

I saw an ad for a cream that makes age spots disappear. I might buy some when I go to the drug store ... if I ever leave my house again. I may decide to stay put and watch my teeth turn even more yellow. Mama slapped all kinds of stuff on her face every morning, noon and night and she always brushed her teeth with baking soda. It didn’t help her any. Not only did she get age spots and yellow teeth, obviously, she passed them on to me.
Thanks a lot, Mama.
If I start dieting today I could lose the ten pounds I gained before Christmas. But what if my extra weight is water retention? I would have starved myself when all I needed was a fluid pill.
I don't have anything thawed out for supper, but so what? We can catch an Early Bird somewhere. Our meals are coming around earlier and earlier. Pretty soon, we'll be eating supper at noon. Cooking for two doesn’t pay when Early Birds are cock-a-doodle-doing on every corner.
It would be nice if talk shows would occasionally cover important issues like age spots, drooping flesh, flabby thighs, wiry gray hair and hearing aids. An entire week could be devoted to women caught up in the process of aging. But they won’t happen. They will showcase models from Victoria Secrets or actresses with skin so tight they resemble the Sears Tower gargoyles in Chicago. Don't they know that we women of a certain age do not do Victoria Secrets? We're too busy looking in the mirror and finding a stranger when we're not staring at our mother's hands attached to our own wrists.


  1. Wonderful article Cappy! It brought tears to my eyes you stinker. are obviously doing a great job of using your imagination because the woman you describe bears no resemblance to the gorgeous creature we all know and love. You, my dear, have gorgeous teeth, twinkling eyes and you are just adorable. Good story though.

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  3. It's funny, I remember your Mom, but I don't remember yellow teeth, age spots, and drooping skin. I remember homemade dresses and laughter and creativity. Outside the homemade dresses, that is you to a tee. A woman full of laughs and brimming with creativity. You are amazing!

  4. Lucky have your mother's hands. I have my dad's! But I am thankful to have his good teeth:)