“You are even older than my daddy!!!!”
“You are way older than my mommy too!”
This is what happened when I shared with my first grade class how old I am turning. Gone are the days where I was so much younger than the kids parents and had yet to be a mom myself.
Sometimes lately, I catch myself looking in the mirror and I am amazed at what I see. I tweak out the white eye lashes and stare too long at the circles under my eyes. Moving around my house I notice how much younger all of the pictures of me seem.
But in my heart I don’t feel the years at all.
Most of the time, I still feel like I am in my twenties although more realistically what my 30’s once were. Being a teacher and a mom of littles ones keeps you going.
It’s just that birthdays are not my thing. They never were. Earmuffs would cover my ears when family sang the birthday song to me. I hid in a closet during one birthday party to avoid it. There is just something about being the center of attention I am not comfortable with.
Then there are all the emotions that go along with the celebrating. It’s another year older, another year wiser, and just another year. I look back and think about the last few months and all that has changed. Most of the time these days, not much really has. I am married, have two kids, a career, good friends, and all the drama that comes with all of that. I have made myself promises to be stronger, be more patient, not feel guilty about saying no to taking on too much, and to enjoy life.
Sometimes I am too hard on myself. Isn’t that a reflection most of us can feel? The days move fast and the older we get, we are so much more aware of the minutes somehow going faster.
I wander around at night room to room checking on the kids. Lunches are packed for the next day. The clock shows numbers that will not add up to a lot of sleep as I finish my work before I turn in for the night. Sometimes, I sneak in moments where time stops and I can just have “me” time but it always feels borrowed.
40 was my magic number. The one where I had so much figured out and life was starting to make sense.
I am turning 42. I am not sure how much the world makes sense or if it should ever. That’s probably a philosophical discussion for another day. Maybe I will think of all the things I am going to accomplish this year and maybe this will be the time I wise up and take the moments as they come.
When my cake comes out, I will smile while those around me clap and sing. The candles will burn brighter than they ever have before…
This year, I will make a really good wish as I blow out flames into the dark.
Thank you for reading this and celebrating my birthday with me.
40 Wishes and Counting began when I turned 40 and needed to write and then write some more…