and kids

and kids

Friday, July 15, 2016

Turning 40 in a Month

I don't ever remember thinking 40 was old. I have no memory of someone having a 40th birthday and cringing at the thought. I am relieved and happy to report I don't remember those thoughts. Heck, my matron-of-honor was 40 in my wedding and I didn't think anything of it.

No. Big. Deal.

I hear, and/or I see, on social media, many who run out and do crazy things for their 40th birthday - hang gliding, bungee jumping, skydiving.  I have no desire to do these things.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

When I turned 30, I was halfway through my last pregnancy. I assumed I'd have a few more kids after Mac, but my body was done making humans. There was no chance I was going to be able to do that again and tend to my family. I had five kids, I'd been married almost ten years, had a nice home, a bird chirped in my kitchen all day long.

Living. The. Dream.

I don't necessarily (mentally) "feel old". I think of myself as 25ish. Doesn't everybody? But, as I notice a few things, it makes me realize I truly am aging.1) College kids look like they are 10. 2) Colonoscopy scheduling. 3) Large print is preferred. 4) Kids asking, "What's a VCR?" 5) Routine is comfortable. 6) I blink and a month disappears. 7) Gray hair doesn't color well. 8) I don't care what others think. 9) Recovery after activity takes forever. 10) My eyes angle up to talk to my sons.

In hindsight, there are some things I wish I could tell my younger self:

  • Pray without ceasing, even when the waters are smooth.
  • True friendships are more important than multiple friendships.
  • The kids will grow older and you'll actually miss bedtime stories.
  • Seriously... don't sweat the small stuff.
  • More kitchen dance parties.
  • Your husband is who you grow old with, not your kids.
  • "Me time" is not selfish.
  • A tidy house doesn't indicate a good mom, sometimes it is just the opposite.
  • You don't have to be a "rock" all the time.

I was always the youngest in the class, many of my friends have passed the big 4-0. They've survived. I think my only real issue with this milestone is feeling an end of an era creeping up. At my 40th birthday, I'll have a 15 yr old, a 14 yr old, a 13 yr old, a 12 yr old, and a 9 yr old. In two years, which we all know will vanish too quickly, I'll be helping my one and only daughter prepare for college and I'll be saying goodbye to elementary school parties and carpool forever. I cherish being a mom and I do not take the privilege of training these kiddos lightly.

So, as I turned 40, I'm halfway through hands-on-mothering. I hoped I'd know what I was doing by now, but I am still learning every day. There is no chance of being prepared with teenagers, I just pray a lot and grab learning opportunities when they come. I have five great kids, I've been married almost twenty years, I still have a mortgage, and I have a dog...that only a mother could love.

Still. Living. The. Dream.

Contrary to the world prior to the Fall, I am aging. And the kids are aging, Jason happens to be aging too. An approaching 20th anniversary seems even more unbelievable to me than turning 40. We had four years together prior to kids and as much as I will miss the "kid" stage in life, what could be better than looking forward to years alone with my honey?

As this era is slipping away, and my kids are becoming young adults, my parents are aging, and my two grandmothers are also aging. Forty used to be the end of life for many generations. Now, it is typically in the middle somewhere. I may still have another 40 years to go? Maybe 60 years?

When I look at it that way, 40 isn't old after all.

More. Dream. To. Live.

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