Half A Lifetime Ago



Half a lifetime ago. That’s what I realized as I was driving down the road, sunroof open, on one of the first warm spring days of the year. Before I was a mom, before I was a wife, I was just me. I worked in retail and would find myself driving the 45 minutes home down back roads on summer nights, the stars clear and bright as I looked through the moon roof of that ‘89 Saab I bought, my first car. Dave Matthews Band came through my speakers and the word “future” stated with a capital F, undoubtedly exotic and exciting. Nothing was set in stone. Do you remember what freedom was like?

Today I find myself following the checkmarks on my to-do lists. Laundry, dishwasher, grocery store, and most of the time in my minivan is taking kids from school to activity to next activity. Routine.

Oh, but the beauty of that routine. Of blankets tucked round little bodies sleeping in beds. Of bread dough punched down and left to rise. Of coffee beans and tea bags. Of bags of groceries, stacks of homework, and piles of dance shoes. Soccer schedules, water bottles, and chocolate chip cookies.

20 years.

And in 20 more years the minivan will be a sedan. The laundry will be manageable. The dishwasher will sit empty and my grocery runs will be smaller and spaced out further. And I’ll be driving down the road, wondering what the next 20 years will look like.


Where were you half a lifetime ago? Tell us about it in the comments.

Brenna D'Ambrosio
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