How to Rethink The Idea of ‘Too Late’

In loving, parenting, living in a body, and more.

Sophie Lucido Johnson

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Yesterday, I was shopping at one of those little gift shops that mostly only sells soaps and and jewelry you can’t imagine wearing, when a woman came up to me and said the thing that I strangers have been saying to me most often lately:

Illustrations by the author.

Whoops, I should have mentioned that I had my 9-month-old daughter T strapped on, and her “little legs” (which are, I’ll admit, awesomely juicy) were kicking around. T has been sick for two weeks now. She has been to Urgent Care where they declared she didn’t have COVID but did have an ear infection — both things I already knew. Now she’s on antibiotics, but her discomfort continues to break my heart — and hamper my ability to get anything at all done.

The thing is, I’m TRYING to enjoy these days. I’m trying to be as present as possible, acutely aware that I’m going to blink my eyes and all of a sudden T is going to be driving off in her Camaro to get something pierced. (My teen references are from the 1990s, and I’m OK with that because I think the ’90s are cool again.) Every time someone says, “Enjoy these days; soon it will be too late,” I get the ominous sense that I’m doing something wrong, that if I was truly enjoying the days the way I was supposed to (in order to avoid the inevitable too-lateness), people…

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