This week brought the best evidence yet that middle age is not as far off as it used to be.
It was Tuesday afternoon and I was trying to shepherd Evangeline and Rachel out of the school, dealing with one thing and another. They had to go to the bathroom. They had to get a drink. They had to say goodbye to Rachel's buddy Eliza. Rachel didn't have her sweatshirt. Evangeline didn't have her backpack.
"Where's your backpack?" I asked. She looked at me as if I were crazy. "Where's your backpack?" I repeated tersely. Still no answer, just a blank look. "Evangeline!" I fairly snapped. "Where is your backpack?"
"You're holding it," she said, and at last I followed her gaze to my left hand. There, dangling from two fingers, was Evangeline's Spider-Man backpack.
"Oh," I said, not really sure how to recover from that, but suddenly identifying very closely with my mother. "Right."
I haven't reached the top of the hill, and I'm definitely not over it yet, but there's no question that I've started to climb.