Burning Brighter

“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.

I reflect.

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…


  1. says

    Happy Birthday Stacey! You’re still a spring chicken – I’m 10 years older than you! My 11 year old son has the same teacher at school teaching him Religious studies as my husband when he was 11 many moons ago! 😜

  2. says

    Happy Birthday Stacey! I understand your ambivalence about wanting to celebrate your birthday and yet not wanting to make a fuss and be the center of attention. I go through that every year too. Except I’ve had a few more years of practice than you have. And I’m still hard on myself too. I hope the cake is yummy and your birthday wishes come true.

  3. says

    Happy Birthday again. I know I already said it on Facebook, but let’s do it here, too.

    I feel the same way about my age, too. For some reason, I always think I’m in my late 20s. I’m not sure why I think that, but when I actually do the math and calculate my true age, it kinda catches me off guard.

    Age is just a number. You are as old as you feel.

    Hope you had a great birthday. 🙂

  4. says

    Your imagery when you write just wows me over and over again! Happy Happy (belated) Birthday!!! I wonder what it would be like to teach now…now that I have kids. I would go about it so incredibly differently…you know the lame way. 😉

  5. says

    Happy Birthday! I’m 37 – my kid is 7 – I’m so much older than most of the other Mums and Dads and Teachers. Sometimes it feels weird to be in a crowd of youngsters lol. So I know how you feel 🙂

  6. says

    I am EXACTLY where you are. It’s a weird age right? We passed the big milestone but the years are coming fast. Loved this and YOU. Hope your day and cake was sweet, and hope your wish comes true!

  7. says

    Happy Birthday! My mother was 42 when she had me, so I always had the oldest parents when I was in school. I never really thought of them as old. Somehow, I got it in my head that old was always 10 years old than they were, no matter how old they were. So take heart, my mother is now 97, so old is 107. You are not even half way there yet!

  8. says

    Happy birthday! The other week, a group of the 8 and 9 year olds in the school I volunteer in, upon my mentioning my kids, declared that I am not old enough to have children and am not a real adult. I was thrilled! Wonder how long that will last before they start telling me how old I am! 😀

  9. says

    Happy birthday, Stacey! I know we all say it, but it’s because it’s true–the time flies by so quickly! And we still feel the same in our heads. You are just hitting your prime at 42, so live it up, girl!

  10. says

    Happy birthday, if perhaps a bit belated! I hope you had a delicious cake and some peace and quiet unto yourself (as a parent, these are the highest blessings I can bestow upon another).

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