CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the span of an editing and writing career that started 26 years ago, if you had told me that I would become a stay-at-home prison guard for three preschool sons when I reached my 40s, I would have said, "Sorry. That is ridiculous. I don't know any of those kinds of people."
An interesting life, populated by very interesting people for a rather long time, was relieved by marriage to a high-maintenance man whose care and pleasure takes up AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF TIME THAT I USED TO SPEND ON MYSELF.
Three serial pregnancies uncovered my previously unknown talent of reproducing like a fruit fly at what the baby doctors call "advanced maternal age."
When the family is seen in public (which isn't often), we are often called "Grandma and Papaw" by strangers.
Which doesn't bother us in the least. We are, effectively, a Grandma and Papaw. Everything aches, we both need glasses and naps, and we feel like we've been together for 40 years. (Another column.)
I said to a friend on my husband's 50th birthday, during an end-of-the-night scramble to collect presents and the bill, extract tips and make a semi-poised exit (to include keeping my pantyhose up), "The writer and the inventor got married."
And he dryly said, "I know."
My husband is also an executive in a family business. ANOTHER JOB FOR ME!
Now that I am increasingly conservative (nothing like children to clarify the mind when it comes to talk of cliffs, even if they are fiscal), I wonder if there are other couples who miss partying and sleeping late and liberal behavior as much as we do.
I haven't changed that much.
I just pray constantly.
Sometimes you get sidetracked, and remember when you didn't think about God because you were calling all your friends to tell them what happened last night at the party.
Which brings me to my children's education, keeping me from either having parties or attending them.
My first son, who is in kindergarten, attends Covenant School in Huntington right now. I am the only mother who wears all black, all the time -- a leftover from my practical New York City professional work uniform.
If it is available in black, I own all styles of it.
It is really good for vomit and poop -- the consequences of applesauce -- and a 4-year-old who recently threatened to pee on me.
It is also good for peeling pomegranates, which the entire family may eat only when naked -- a rule I enforce, which I learned the hard way. (Future column.)