you must be the baby

My mother and I take a pilates class together on Fridays. (We seem drawn to making fools of ourselves.) Last week after class, while I gathered my things, my mom shared with our instructor that she had had the four of us kids pretty close together, and that now we’re 23, 22, 19, and – “my baby just turned 18.”

The instructor gestured in my direction and asked, “Is she your baby?”

Funny you should ask that. She happens to be the eldest.

i appeal to this old grainy picture . . . wishing i were taller.

i appeal to this old grainy picture . . . wishing i were taller.

I’m commonly taken for a teenager, so I question myself from time to time on why this seems to bother me. I think it boils down to trying very hard to act like a grownup, feeling like an imposter of a grownup, and realizing that nobody is buying the act.

Mostly I’d just like to go grocery shopping in the middle of the day without being asked whether the local high school has the day off, or if my mother knows I’m there.

I comfort myself by imagining this scene in 20 or 30 years: Mom still feels free to tell our ages. And I am still the baby.


9 thoughts on “you must be the baby

  1. I love this. When Pauly was little we went ice skating and the girl at the counter was going to let me in for the kid price. She thought I was 12.
    Enjoy it now. No one will be letting me in for the kids price ever again. Never ever, never ever… okay, I’m going to eat some chocolate now in hopes of consoling myself…

  2. It may not get better for a while. At Idlewild Park last summer, Marcy, at 34, had an Idlewild worker tell her she couldn’t go on a ride with Joseph because you had to be at least 16.

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