My Life Stage: It’s in the Cards
Tucked up high on a shelf in my office sits a shiny, lidded box chock full of greeting cards.
Whenever I find myself in the card section of the grocery store or in a stationery shop, I pick up cards that intrigue me: birthday cards, thank you cards, you’re so special cards, thank-you-for-being-so-special-and-having-a-birthday cards.
Even if I don’t have an immediate need for a particular card I’m drawn to, I buy it anyway knowing that I’m bound to use it sometime in the future.
The other day, I was rifling through the categories in my card box trying to find a suitable card for a friend whose father had just passed away, and it dawned on me that while the few cards in the “New Baby” and “Wedding” sections were gathering dust, I’ve gone fishing in the burgeoning “Graduation” section and, unfortunately, the “Sympathy” and “Care and Concern” sections more times than I’d like to count in the last few years.
It’s the stage of life many of my friends and I are in right now. Our parents are aging, but our children, for the most part, are graduating from grade school, high school, and college, and are too young or too involved in their educations to start thinking about marriages, mortgages, and mini me’s.
Accordingly, many of us find ourselves trapped in the dizzying vortex of filling our children’s lunch bags while exploring the foreign world of medical treatments, eldercare options, and estate settlements for our parents. We’re members of the sandwich generation: wedged in between the needs of both our young and our old.
My own mom was 48 when I got married. That seems so very young to be the mother of the bride now that I look back. I, God willing, will be in my mid 60s by the time my boys are ready to get hitched, which seems so very old to be the mother of the groom.
When that time approaches, I’ll happily dust off the few wedding and new baby cards I’ve squirreled away adding more as I go, and no doubt will begin including a few snarky old age cards for my contemporaries as well.
My greeting card stash mirrors our current life stage.
Each stage has its highs and its lows, its celebrations and its commiserations that quietly, continually wax and wane inside the lidded box tucked up high on the shelf in my office.
I treasure that box full of wise, touching, and funny sentiments.
You could say that it bears witness to our lives.
It’s something little that I love.