Finally I was asked the question; my age when I had Jack and Fiona; she was worried she was too old to have a baby.

 Naptime. Jack and Fiona sleeping, I just finished my paintings for the day. Was a good session. The opening of SIMPATICO on Friday was a huge success. It was great to be back in the East Bay! I love Oakland. I am surprised that I was able to get right back into things with a passion. Many times after a show, especially one that I work so much for, I take time off, relishing in my accomplishment. But this time I feel like the opening was just more inspiration for my continued work, right now that is predominately painting. I was surprised people didn’t respond to my tiny little paintings I painted last week, I love them. They are dark though, and dark works don’t seem to be very saleable. That doesn’t matter too much though because I must paint what comes out of me regardless of what people like. But I have been consciously changing my palette’s and experimenting with lighter colors. I am pleased with what I came up with today.

Over the weekend I attended a bridal shower. It was really nice, I didn’t know anyone there, except my friend getting married, so I met a lot of people. One of the women and I started a conversation, her sister is pregnant with twins and my friend told them about Jack and Fiona. At one point I asked her if she had kids. She did not. The woman told me about her horrific and painful experience she went through trying to start a family, sometimes saying sorry as if she was telling me too much. She felt like it wasn’t going to happen for her and questioned her age, if she was too old now.  She said, “Can I ask you a question?” I said yes. “How old were you when you had your babies?” she asked. Oh my god, I thought. All the time I worried about my age, the ticking clock, calculating “if I get pregnant this month I’ll still be under forty when I have a baby” Month after month, year after year, until there was no more under forty. “I was 42 when Jack and Fiona were born” I told her. “But I tried for ten years and I had to use a gestational carrier and an egg donor to finally have kids.” We talked and talked for a long time. I gave her my number and e-mail address and said I was here for her if she wanted to talk or cry or yell!

I was so concerned with my age, my inability to “make a baby” of my own, in my own body. I read articles with opposing views on age, on how women shouldn’t have kids when they are “Too old”. I read the hateful words of people condemning surrogacy. I worried about what the other moms at the park would think of me. What my kids would think of me. I worried about my skin, my varicose veins, how my body wasn’t smooth and tight like a twenty-five-year-old. Would my kids think I was ugly and old? Once when they were babies someone asked me if I was their grandma. I was distraught. I had to fight hard not to let that get to me. Not to care what other people think of me, my age. Now I am completely comfortable with myself, my age, being a mom. I was so cruel to myself. I read someone said he was sick of women playing the victim, in regards to the Trump pussy thing, the sexism, and Hilary. I don’t think women are playing the victim. We are the victims of sexism and ageism. It’s everywhere, it’s institutionalized just like racism. I am thankful I woke up and saw that my “thinking I was too old” to be a mom had NOTHING with the way I felt physically it had to do with a constant bombard and conditioning to think once we are past our fertile stage we are done. We are no longer young, able to raise babies. As my baby calls me from his room. Naptime is over. Time to be mom. To finish an un-edited rambling post today I’ll just add I’m proud of my 45-year-old self. I am proud of Hilary Clinton and think she’ll be a great president! Pussy’s rule! Older women rise up and don’t take any shit!!!

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins