A couple years ago, I sat in a potty training seminar at my daughter’s daycare center. It was interesting, she was my second child and yet there was this one major detail that I had missed in potty training my eldest. You see, a child has a hard time going #2 in the potty. There is a fear of losing something that was once a part of their body, into a toilet. When they mess in their diaper, the remnants remain close and there is never really any separation anxiety that surfaces. Though it is sh*#, it is their sh*#, it is a part of them, no matter what form it might take.
The week before my 40th birthday, this is the only thought going through my mind. I felt like for 40 years I had been in potty training… And I wasn’t quite ready to let go of my sh*#.
Sure. It seems absurd this analogy was racing circles through my mind, but oddly enough, it was. I was fearful I was leaving everything behind. I had had my run, my chance, and though I would never relive my high school or college years… it was my sh*#, no matter what form it took.
…the 40 year old coma… Fourty is a very interesting age. It’s like the movie Cocoon, these people turned 40 and left everything behind, to be 40… forever.
Ok, fine, maybe it doesn’t happen exactly like that. But 40 is the way I’ve seen my parents for the last 20 years. You never get older, but it’s time to let go of your younger years.
On the eve of my 40th birthday, I sat surrounded by family in a quaint corner restaurant in downtown Madrid. We drank amazing Spanish wine, indulged in a tapestry of seafood, and cheered at midnight not to what I had been, but where I would go.
There was no grand exit as I had anticipated. We simply walked home arm in arm laughing and chattering, went to bed, and the sun rose again the next morning.
The funny thing about by potty training, is every child does it in their own time. It’s a decision, a rite of passage.