Aging, Memory, Menopause

What About You? The Girl is Mother of the Woman

Menopause often sends you back.

Way back.

To your girlhood.

Since The Great Pause has set in, I’m spending more time reflecting on my early years.

But now is good!

I love writing this blog.

More than any job or hobby, ever.

But about my youth.

In high school I wrote for the school paper.

I had my own column, which I loved writing too.

A few days ago, I dug out the old issues.


My words  in The Talisman  stopped me in my looking-at-old-stuff tracks.

My column reads a lot like my blog posts.

That’s either good, since I wrote pretty well in high school

Or bad

Since I’m forty years wiser and should be a  better writer now.

But I sound almost the same.

I guess the girl really is mother of the woman.

(To paraphrase William Wordsworth’s “The child is father of the man.”)

What about you?

Even though the years have swirled by, are you, in some ways, still the same girl you were long ago?

And does that make you sad, happy, or a bit of both?

The touches of red in this post trace back to one of my favorite elementary school riddles:

What’s black and white and red all over?

The newspaper!

I think I learned the riddle from this book, one of my favorite of all time, Bennett Cerf’s Book of Riddles.

 I wish I still had my old copy. Then I could check to see if I’m right.  I do know for very sure, it’s got this one:

What’s big, red, and eats rocks?

A big, red, rock eater!

Bennet Cert's Big Book of Riddles

22 thoughts on “What About You? The Girl is Mother of the Woman”

  1. Sweet stroll down memory lane. I see you developed your charming, whimsical streak early on! I took some time to think about how my former self and current self compare and, almost on cue, I heard Stevie Nicks sing “The sea changes color, but the sea does not change.” She nailed it!


  2. Love those Universal Truths! Great that you still had the papers from high school.
    In high school I edited the yearbook; in college I edited a student consumer paper. I have a few clips from my newspaper reporter days — and those really were the days!


  3. Oh, Barbara–that is SO you!! I love it. Especially the parts about solitary animal crackers and lying to your children.

    As for comparing my current and younger selves, there is some good and some bad. I will always want to save every animal that needs rescuing, and the only child in me will always love being spoiled.


  4. Such a wonderful read! And yes, the ‘voice’ I read in your very young lessons are still echoing today in this blog.

    And, “What’s big, red, and eats rocks? A big, red, rock eater!” was always one of my favorite riddles. I’ve always been a fan of the “duh” jokes and riddles.

    This was such a pleasure being able to travel through time and get a glimpse at the younger Barbara Younger. 😀


  5. What I hear in your Talisman column are the voices of your parents – the advice and the whimsy! I’m also amused by the proofreading error “shcool” (which my computer is trying to auto-correct now)!


      1. The typesetting/proofreading error is in the second to last paragraph of the second Talisman excerpt.


  6. Barbara, I just found you through Louise Hawes’s post. I love your whimsical Reflections piece from your high school paper. The Universal truths and great evils are wonderful. They make me wish the world could be so simple. I remember one poem submitted to my high school paper and realize I still write poems about peace. Perhaps we are more the same as we were than we realize.


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