Taylor Dane – remember her? Not Taylor Swift – Taylor Dane. Today, 90’s on 9 played her ballad, Love Will Lead You Back. Suddenly it was 1990 and I was 24 years old, pining for some guy I met on Fire Island.
My best friend Wendy recently told me that she is “jealous” of our kids. We have four daughters between us – ages 20, 21, 22, and 23. They girls grew up together and are very close.
Why would she be jealous of our kids? Because they are 20, 21, 22 and 23 of course.
Their adult lives are beginning. The younger two are in their last year or so of college and the older two are just beginning their next chapter. It is an exciting time for all of them, and for their moms as well.
We, their moms, started out back in that beginning together. As we graduated from college, many of our friends were in serious relationships, some even beginning to get engaged. Wendy and I both found ourselves single at that time and naturally gravitated towards each other.
Looking back, being single at that time afforded me the opportunity to have some of the best years of my life. I had my first real job, my own money, and no real responsibilities other than to get up and go to work Monday through Friday.
There was nothing else to do but have fun, and that we did. We went to bars and clubs, moved into our very first apartment in Manhattan, and did “share-houses” by the beach every summer. We met tons of people and went on dates galore. This was all with no cell phones and no social media. We actually went out and talked to people.
Time certainly does fly and now Wendy and I are in our fifties. We have been through a lot since those early days. We both got married, had children, became stay-at-home moms, moved out of NYC and into suburban NJ, we made new friends, Wendy got divorced and I, sadly, lost my husband. Our kids have all been through a lot and somehow made it out (knock wood a thousand times).
So, life has come full circle and our daughters are at that stage where we started. The world has certainly changed a lot since the early 90s and our girls are all their own people with their own personalities and goals.
I look at them and feel such excitement. I hope with all my heart that their lives are full and happy. They have not had it easy, and I hope their best days are still ahead.
But am I jealous of our kids? Yes and no.
Would I love to go back to being a 24 year-old with the world in front of me? Of course. To live those years again being carefree and even a little reckless sometimes, would be tons of fun. I cherish that time in my life and tend to be wistful about it sometimes.
There has been a lot of living done between then and now. Some of it has been fabulous: getting married and having my daughters being first and foremost.
There has also been a lot of heartache and struggle since then and I would not go back and relive that for all the money in the world.
They say wisdom comes with age and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Well, I feel pretty damn smart and pretty damn strong. I am content with that and where my life is at this moment.
It is their turn. I hope they will have all the fun in the world and are safe and happy and loved. These early years can be some of the best in their lives.
Me? Yea maybe I am just the teensiest bit jealous. But I am also happy to watch and cheer them on from the sidelines. From the comfort of where I am now, I have a pretty good view.
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.