You look so young!

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You look so young!

I may be the only almost-50-year-old woman who doesn’t love to hear this statement.

I have looked young since Kindergarten.

“You don’t look old enough to be in Kindergarten. Are you in preschool?”

First day of high school. 

Things I overheard as I walked through the hallways:

“Ha ha what is a 5th grader doing here?”

“Look at that little girl.”

Last 25 years of raising kids. 

“You look too young to be a mother.” 

“You can’t possibly have kids that age.” 

This past year leading up to our daughter’s wedding.

“You can’t possibly have a daughter old enough to be getting married.”

“You are way too young to have a kid getting married.”

“Were you 12 when you had your kids?”

Everybody at the wedding who I haven’t seen in a while, “OMG Sally, you do not age!”

Others said, “She can’t possibly be one of the mothers of the bride.”

celia and sally photo

You look too young to be a mother of a kid getting married.

My usual response: Thank you. I hear that a lot.

I think to myself is it really a compliment? It feels more like a judgement to me.

You can’t possibly have kids that age.

I do.

What, were you 12 when you had your kids?

No. And, think to myself, what if I was?

Sometimes I say Yes, and leave them wondering because what if I was?!

When they find out I am not the birth mom…

Oh, that explains it, you are not the REAL mom! Um, okay but can you explain to me what I have been doing for the last 25 years that I am apparently not old enough to be doing? Because, it sure felt like momming to me!

I may be young at heart but I am definitely old enough to have a child who just got married because I do have a child who just got married!

I guess it is not the looking young thing that bothers me it is the lack of acknowledgment of my parenting that I have struggled with for various reasons over the last 25 years. Parenting is hard enough and when society refuses to acknowledge the fact that you are parenting it is even more challenging.

We all create stories and assumptions about people that we don’t really know. I am sure I have done the same to others. 

Maybe next time someone tells you they are [fill in the blank], believe them and don’t question them.

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