Friday, February 5, 2010

What were you doing when you were 24?

I've mentioned before that I swim on a masters team. Like the name implies everyone on the team is at least 18 years old though most are well past that age. Recently someone new has joined the team and she's quickly become a favorite. She's bright and bubbly and, being that today is her birthday, 24 years old. This is outside the norm as most of us are in our 30's, 40's and beyond. Her birthday prompted a thread on our group email list, "What were you doing when you were 24?" Several people piped in with tales of lousy jobs or, because there are four doctors who swim on the team, harrowing days in medical school. One guy said that was the year he met his wife. But for me, the year I was 24 was also the year I became a mother.
I was a little reluctant to say that on the list. Not because everyone doesn't already know that I have an 18 year old daughter. It's hard to hide when she's swimming just a few lanes down, though in a completely different group. Rather, it seems very out of the norm these days to be as young as I am with a practically grown child (I say this despite how she may behave sometimes). I'm glad though that I was so young because I got to enjoy them and play with them when I had a lot of youthful energy and I'm still young enough to do lots of things on my own, both for them and for myself.
Which brings me to the skirt I made for my youngest. She's going to a birthday party tomorrow night and wanted a new skirt for the occasion. Even better, she wanted me to make her a new skirt. All the things I needed to do today I put on hold because having an eighteen year old has taught me that the days of wanting a mama-made anything are so, so numbered.



She picked out the pattern, Simplicity 2698, and the gray linen. I modified the pattern somewhat, shortening the skirt and adding gathers to the front and back. The gathers were added despite the fact that the skirt has pleats. The waistband just didn't fit right otherwise. Abi also wanted the top stitching to be done in yellow thread.
I so enjoyed watching Abi model her skirt and her glee that I could make her vision of a skirt a reality.
I know that creating for your kids is not tied to how old you are, but I'm hopeful that being still relatively young, I'll have many more years and opportunities to do things for them.

Okay, now it's your turn. You know what I was doing when I was 24. What were you doing when you were 24?

47 comments:

cheryl norwood said...

I was having my 3rd child who is now a senior in college about to graduate with 2 majors---yay! I love your stories, Malka---keep writing. :-)

Allison said...

I AM 24! I am currently a 10th grade chemistry teacher in my second year of committment with teach for america.

Darlene said...

My daughter was born two months before I turned 23, so I had a one-year-old when I was 24! She'll be 33 in April, so that tells you how old I am!

They don't want you to make stuff for them for a while, but when they get older, they sure do! I made myself a hat with earflaps when my daughter was in high school. She told me I looked like a "goober" when I wore it, so it became my "goober hat."

I got my revenge a couple of years ago. Her ears would get cold when she went outside in the winter to play with her boys. So she wanted me to make her...wait for it...a GOOBER hat! Of course I obliged, but I had a good time ribbing her over it.

Kris said...

I was 24 last year and like this year, I was in graduate school working towards my PhD while living with my long-time boyfriend. Life is pretty good, but I look forward to family life when I get done with my program.

Sara said...

I became a mother at 24 too. He is three now, and has a little sister too. There are still young mothers out there (well, at least me!).

CupCakeCutie said...

I understand how you feel having children young. I am 25 and have a two year old and a 6 month old. I LOVE the fact that I had kids young. However, I always find myself unselfconscious when I leave the house with the girls and forget to wear my wedding rings. A lot of people assume that I am a single mom or that I got married because I got pregnant. Not the case. But I guess the only thing more uncommon than having kids young is getting married young.

Jan said...

I spent my 24th birthday in labor with my oldest daughter, now 41. She was born 27 minutes after midnight, so she got to have her own birth date. The rest of the year was wonderful, she was an easy baby.

Amy said...

I was in grad school at Yale, working on my PhD in molecular biochemistry and biophysics. Boy, did I hate just about every minute of those six years!! Still no kids for me, though I am pushing 39. But I have (hopefully) left all that science behind!

Paula said...

At 24, I had already been married for 7 years, and had three children. They were 5, 4 and 1. We started homeschooling our oldest that year. And, we had one more child.

Now she is 25. I totally enjoyed raising my kids while I was young. Now, I'm 44 and expecting our first grandson.

Vivika said...

At 24 I moved from Maine to San Francisco and started a new chapter in both my work and home lives. I moved from family and familiarity to a big city, explored the California coast and grabbed the opportunity for adventure. I've never looked back! 24 was a great year!

kaiolohiakids said...

I had my first child at 24 as well-but she's 38 now, so you shouldn't feel so old!

Care said...

I had my first child at 24 too! It seems 24 is popular for starting families! :o)

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

I was 24 in 1995. I was in grad school for Anthropology and Museum Studies in Milwaukee!

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

By the way, I love that skirt!

Holly Jane said...

beautiful skirt!

At 24 I had a 2 year old, was in grad school, and was getting my first book published. It's a frenetic blur.

Jessica said...

that skirt is awesome!

at 24 I moved from Atlanta to Massachusetts, and spent that summer in Athens. I was quilting a lot, really into bright colors paired with black, and hand quilted in perle cotton. I quit my job as a paralegal and thought I wanted to start selling handmade goods, but the fear of running out of money pushed me to look for a steady job. I ended up finding a very rewarding job working with children with autism, a job I'm glad I took because it really prepared me for parenthood (the baby came later, at 28).

thanks for blogging, Malka. it's nice to have good questions to answer.

Sophie said...

I was a mum of a 3 year-old and a 2 year-old. I was desperately unhappy and lonesome. Now, at 35, I am happily married (not to my girls' dad), a stay-at-home parent, and a confirmed knitter. In the intervening years, I've been through a lot (fibromyalgia, depression, hubby's depression) but I would not go back to 24 for anything!

Madame Awesomepants said...

I was having my first baby too! He's four now. It was also the year I quit working to be a stay at home mom and the year we bought our first house. 24 was a good year.

amy said...

I had my 3rd daughter when I was 24 :) Cute skirt!

Serena said...

I had a one year old at 24 and my husband started his own business. It was an interesting year. I sewed things for my daughter, and I finally learned to knit! Now I'm 27 and have another little girl to sew for. It wasn't very long ago, but it seems like it when I see how much has gone on in the past three years.

I really enjoyed hearing about when *you* were 24. The skirt is so cute!

r0ssie said...

Drinking a lot of gin and having a lot of fun! : )
Love that skirt.

Nichole said...

Well, I turned 24 in my first year of marriage and I was working in the job I always dreamed of having in college. However, I was quickly realizing that it wasn't as fabulous as I hoped. Now at 25, I'm trying to figure out a way out. It's amazing how much changes in a year. :)

pam said...

Great skirt!

I was in school when I was 24, teaching French while I worked on my master's. I remember that the year before I had been living in France when the Challenger exploded and Reagan bombed Libya. 13 years later I had my first child. Now I have two: six and nine!

Wendi said...

I was living in Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship - studying children's literature and planning to get a PhD. Now I haven't spoken German in 14 years, I make toys for children, and my husband is a children's book writer. Funny how things change

Kathy said...

I just got my first job that had health insurance. I was a residential counselor for a program serving deaf adults with mental illness. Later that year I went back to college part time while working cuz I wanted to complete my degree. I bought my first car.....and I met my first husband who I ended up divorcing.

Gee, I did alot that year huh!

Linda Zimmerman said...

At 24 I have my second big job in the city, New York City. I worked for Stacy Fabrics traveling the country as a support rep. I gave presentations and demonstrations with Stitch Witchery and interfacings to Home Economic conventions, in Hancock Fabric stores and large independent fabric stores. I was in 23 states in 2 years and loved every minute of that job! Many years later, I live in CT and try and get into NY as often as I possibly can. I have a 22 year old son who has his first apartment in the city and I love watching him through his first year with his first job out of college!

Janet said...

At 24, I was married for 2 years (now 40 years) and teaching Home Economics at the Jr High that I attended. I was tracked down by my HEc teacher who was retiring and wanted me to have her position. I am now a retired Art/HEc and I made it possible for one of my former students to have my job.

The WoodLand School said...

At 24 I was in grad school studying English Literature and engaged to my fabulous husband. Wow ... so many, many years ago :-)

house on hill road said...

i was engaged, living in the mountains, planning a move to the city, working a job i hated, but living with a man i love.

ps - the skirt is really really cute!

Frummie said...

Like you, when I was 24 I had my first child...now 43I really don't know how that is possible since I am only 40...LOL
When my younger daughter, now 41, was about 10 we were walking thru JCPenny's and she saw a sweater that she liked and asked me to make it. The price was so cheap, it would have cost me 3X to make it. I told her I would buy it for her, she said she wouldn't be able to tell everyone that her mommy made it. I in turn to her and with a straight face said to her LIE...LOL!
Needless to say, the $13 sweater cost $50 to make and she wore it for years.

maria said...

I remember at 14 saying I didn't want to have a baby until I was at least 24 as I thought that was pretty old and it was really cool to say you were not going to have a child until you were that old!
In the end I didn't have a child until I was 34, I don't know what I would have thought of that at 14!

Donnelly said...

My daughter, Hannah, was 3 months old on my 24th birthday, she is now 18 years old, too! I was desperately trying to get along with my step-children. I had 5 children, aged 3 months to 17 years! My oldest step-daughter is 7 years younger than I am. I would never trade those years for anything in the world. My children, all 5 of them, are my friends now!
Great question. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

anne said...

When I was 24 I had a 3 year old child. I took a class or two at the community college and worked part time at the co-op nursery school. Besides that and taking care of my husband I didn't do much else then.

I remember making a few fancy dresses for holidays back in those days.

Narimasu said...

When I was 24 I had been married for one year and was a first lieutenant on active duty in the USAF. The first child (of three) wasn't to come for another two years. I ended up retiring from the Air Force Reserves and the 'babies' are now 32, 34, and 36.

Nancy said...

When I was 24 I was divorcing my college sweetheart (after a 2 year marriage), living in Houston as a "yankee" and learning to love country music and two-stepping. I met my current and forever husband when I was 28, had my first child at 29 and 2nd at 32. She's now a 20 year old sophmore at IU. What a ride! Cute skirt!

Jennifer said...

I'm about to turn 26, so I was 24 not too long ago.

During 24 I had been out of grad school for one year and was working my second school year at an inner city middle school. It was grueling and I must say I wasn't always happy. My mother passed away when I was 24, which was weird to me, because she was 25 when I was born.

I don't know... 24 is a weird age!

Candied Fabrics said...

Great questions, with lots of great answers! I was 2 years into my 1st job as a research technician at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. I had a roommate and lived in Boston, was loving life, feeling secure in my job and realizing that I didn't want to be a tech forever, so I was loving my life short term, and long term had bit doubts! (Everything worked out great, so I look on those years with fondness now!)

trixi said...

When I was 24 I too had my first baby. She's 26 now and I wonder at how quickly the years went by.

Kelly Meanix said...

At 24 I was getting ready to have my 3rd child and 2 years later had my 4th. My first child was born when I was 19 and I would not change a thing. Now 34 years later I am married to the same man and have 4 grandchildren. When we are out with the grandkids people think we are the parents!
Kelly

danielle said...

At 24 I was living in Macedonia serving in the Peace Corps with my husband. It was the year I had my very first surprise birthday party and found out how much i REALLY don't like surprises :) This was 4 years ago.

LOVE that skirt!

Diana Ramirez said...

I started my first year of grad school at Princeton when I was 24. It was so scary but turned out to be the best time of my (single) life. And I love to sew for my boys. My 11 year old has an order in for warrior's garb, helm included. And I have to make a set for his best friend too. On the lookout for cheap leather clothing to rip apart and sew into leather jerkins and gauntlets.

Emily said...

wow reading all your musings about when you were 24 is great! I am still only 22 and don't know for sure what i'll be doing at 24, the only thing i'm hoping for is a job and happiness

Kris said...

Hmm.... 24 seems so long ago. I had my third child when I was 24. He will be married this year. Boy time flies!

Cheryl Arkison said...

At 24 I was working through my first "real job" and finishing up grad school. My now Hubby and I were seeing if we could date successfully in the same city. And we got our spazzy but smart pooch, Maple. Sigh, life was so easy then.

Cara said...

I was finishing up law school and trying to figure out how to have a career that made me happy. I was also very aware that my career plans meant delaying being a mother much later than I had imagined when a little girl. At 33, I'm pregnant with my first. I'm happy with my life and it was the right decision for us. But, I still do the math and wonder what it will be like.

JoonToons said...

i also became a mother at 24. now at 27 i have two beautiful little girls and wouldn't trade this time and age for anything in the world!
my mother was only 20 when she started her motherhood journey and her mother wasn't much older.
currently my two daughters enjoy living in a beautiful lively old house with their parents, their grandmother and their great grandparents. four generations and i always think we have the most fun any family could ever have!

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