The day before my birthday HAPPENED to be the our first full day back after vacation. I don’t know if my kids are the only kids who do this, but my kids spend at least one entire day after vacation punishing us for going on vacation. Like, if you parents think you’re going to take us kids to a lake for an entire week where there are cousins and grandparents and a LOT of ice cream sandwiches, and then bring us HOME? JUST LIKE THAT? Well if that’s what you think then you have another thing coming, and that other thing is at least one full day of mutiny.
They kids were all out of sorts Monday morning, and spent all day whining, fighting, and asking for food even after I clearly told them that there was no food in the house and there would not be food in the house until SOMEONE rallied and went to the grocery store. KIDS!!!
The next day, the morning of my birthday, Tom got me a latte, and told the kids that they weren’t allowed to fight because it was Mommy’s birthday.
And guess what?
IT KIND OF WORKED!
I spent most of the cool, rainy morning making paper airplanes and listening to Moana and thinking about how I have everything I could ever want.
I know, I’m sorry, it sounds cliche — like a Hallmark card. Sometimes even I can’t help it.
Actually now that I think about it, I COULD use another latte.
I’m going to be honest here and say that I’ve dreaded turning 35 more than any other birthday.
Turning 30 felt fine, but 35 feels different. It kind of feels like the jig is officially up — I’m not a kid anymore. Today I had to choose between listening to NPR or Taylor Swift’s new single and I didn’t even hesitate. THE NEWS.
I think the most surprising thing about aging is that it’s happening. To me. I do not mean that sarcastically; I’m being completely honest. Does anyone actually think they’re going to be 35 one day? Like, when your HR rep sits down with you and explains 401k contributions and compound interest, has one person ever done anything other than laughed, and said, “no, thank you, I’ll be 25 forever.”
Besides Tom, I mean.
When I was a kid I was young and through high school and college I was young. Even after college I was young and single, and then young and married, then a young mom. It was part of my identity. People around me were older, and obviously it makes sense that aging is universal, but when you’re 20 it sort of seems surreal that one day you’ll be 35. And the worst part? When you’re 35 there are other 20-year olds in the world.
Maybe the best way to describe it is that getting older feels weird.
When I was a kid, if you’d asked me what I’d be like when I turned 35 I would have talked about riding horses all day every day with my four children. I also had a crush on the same boy from second to 12th grade, and I probably imagined I’d be married to him.
When I was in college, if you’d asked me what I’d be like when I turned 35 I would have described myself but with no flaws, with all of my flaws and bad habits worked out.
When I was 34, if you’d asked me what I’d be like when I turned 35, I would have told you that I would never turn 35.
The truth is somewhere in between — I’m pregnant with my fourth child, married to an amazing man who didn’t ignore me in middle school, and I’m surrounded by people who love me despite my glaring flaws and roll their eyes at my bad habits. Because ugh, are you really eating without a utensil* right now? You’re 35, girl, use a fork!
*Actual true bad habit.
A few days after my birthday Tom’s family came over to celebrate with pizza, swimming, and the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen. (This, by the way, is my absolute favorite way to celebrate a birthday.)
For some reason I thought it would be funny to tell the kids that Tom made the cake, since it was so obvious to the adults that Tom DID NOT make this cake, but kids are so gullible, right? WHY NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT?
My niece asked, in awe, how Tom managed to make those flowers and Tom answered, “I learned in cake school.”
But the real answer is even more impressive, because anyone who knows Tom knows that he probably choked when he found out how much a cake from an actual bakery was going to cost.
Later that night I asked him the price and he wouldn’t answer. Eventually he said, “It cost enough to make me want you to go into the cake business.”
When we were eating, Steve asked, “So, what birthday is this? 34?”
“No, 35” I replied.
“Nice!” he said. “Halfway to 70!”
Awesome, that was one math problem I hadn’t yet done! Thanks, Steve!
If you need me in the next week or so, I’ll be standing in front of the refrigerator eating slivers of that amazing cake. With my hands.
In other words, 35 is off to a great start.