Middle-Age: Old Enough to Harass College Kids and Young Enough to Alienate AARP Members

I have to face it.  I am right smack-dab in the middle of middle age and, what’s worse is, everyone can tell.

It’s a precarious place – the middle.  Ask any middle child and she will tell you.  Not the oldest and not the baby.  The middle is kind-of a no-man’s-land.  A straddling place.

On Tuesday night, I noticed that someone was on our roof.  I noticed because it was the loudest damn thing EVER.  My kids were asleep and someone was very clearly walking on the roof.  Let me explain that our roof is 5 stories up, can only be reached via ladder, and is not outfitted to be any type of rooftop deck (in fact, we breathe a sigh of relief every time there’s a heavy snowfall and no one ends up in a snow drift while watching Jay Leno.)

That’s why I never watch Jay Leno.

Just kidding.  That’s not why.

Anyway, it took me a long time to react because the first time the loud tromping above my head happened, I couldn’t even wrap my mind around someone actually being on the roof.  The next few times,  I had a slow dawning that it could only be coming from the roof.  The next few times I thought, “Oh, I guess the guys who are leveling the balconies are still here – walking about on the roof.”  Then, the next time, I thought.  “Huh….it’s after midnight.  Why are the workmen still…..WAIT A MINUTE!  THOSE AREN’T WORKMEN!!!!”

Yeah.  I’d make a great security guard if anyone is hiring.

So then I tried to imagine for a moment how someone might gain access to my home and my sleeping babies via the roof.

I couldn’t quite figure out how – HOWEVER, I also still have no idea how someone stole my credit card twice while the card was still in my wallet.  Criminals know all kinds of sneaky things, right?

Then I went out on my balcony and said “HEY!”

And someone on the roof said “HEY!”

And I said “Why are you on the roof?!”

And there was silence.

So I called the cops.

Have I mentioned that the units in my condo are predominantly owned by octogenarians?

There’s no way anyone could get their walker up there.  So I was a little nervous.

When the cops pulled into the drive, there was a frantic scrambling on the roof and a clanging of the ladder that had been pushed up to the access hole in the back stairwell.  I got a sudden jolt of courage and I met them at the bottom of the ladder.

College students.

Drunk off their asses.

There was a brief conversation during which they wobbled a little and begged me not to report them.

They said “We’re cool, right?” many many times.

I said very middle-aged mom things like "Do you live here?  Where do you live?!"

And “That roof isn’t structurally sound enough for you guys to be running around up there.  It wasn’t built to be a deck.”

And “Do you know how loud that was?!”

And “I have two little kids in there!”

And they said “OK…OK…But we’re cool, right?”

Please.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t been cool for a lot of years.

Less than 48 hours later, this middle-aged mama found herself smack-dab in first-day-of-summer-vacation hell.  I had forgotten about this part.  The awkward transition from non-stop school and extra-curricular activity to the lazy, slow-paced loooooong days of summer.

It hits kids like a freight train, doesn’t it?  I always forget.

We took the morning slowly as my children asked me, repeatedly, what I had planned for the day.

Uhhh…..planned?

“Well, I plan to keep you fed and alive.  Do you want more?”

Clearly they did.

I said I’d take them to the beach.  Bunny wanted a friend along so we loaded up the bike trailer, rode to her friend’s house, rode to the beach, spent the morning at the beach, had a picnic, went to the park, stopped at the school to pick up a forgotten water bottle, and rode back to the condo.

Within an hour they were asking to go back to the beach.  They had exhausted every activity in the condo, apparently.  They had also exhausted the mother so I was having none of it.

They finally settled upon going to the front driveway, turning on the faucet, and running through it – occasionally taking some into their mouths so they could spit it at one another.

The driveway got wet.  You know…kinda like when it rains.

It was fun until one of the neighbors came through and gave me a look like…hmmmmm….how do I even describe it?  It said “I am horrified by this behavior.  I have never seen anything so repugnant in my entire life.  Those children are running wild in WATER!  And is that a tattoo you have?!  Are you in a gang?!  There will be a special session of the condo board about this!!!!”

It was water.  They’re kids. (sigh)  They were mad I made them go in.

It was beer on the roof.  They’re kids. (sigh)  They wouldn’t look at me today when I saw them.

She has a panicky dog and she’s really old. (sigh)  I’m waiting to hear from the board.

And I am balancing precariously right in the middle of this middle age.

And it feels really weird.
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