When you’re young, birthdays are an exciting time, full of cake and presents. Alaina has been looking forward to hers since about a week after last year’s. It’s a confirmation to her that she is really the “big girl” that she believes herself to be. It’s also a day that is all about her, which she apparently doesn’t realize has also been just about every other day since she was born.
They certainly aren’t the same as you get older. I liked turning eighteen. The idea of being able to vote and influence what was going on in the world in a small way appealed to me. Twenty-one wasn’t a big deal, as I’d already found a few bars that would serve me. Twenty-six kind of sucked as I was now in my “late twenties” and wasn’t very proud of where my life was at.
Turning thirty I took a week off from work to go on a pretty good bender. I was already divorced and lived in a half empty house that I’d just spent a small fortune evicting another failed relationship from. Any nights not spent on a bar stool consisted of playing video games or in front of the computer trying to predict fantasy football statistics.
I have a full house now, with a younger wife and two kids that don’t give me any time to sit around feeling old. I’m forty, my sideburns come in grey, and my back is a disaster, but I spend more time bitching about how fast the children are growing up than I do about the fact that these bags under my eyes might just be permanent.
My baby tuning four has had me melancholy all week. ( My wife might use the word cranky.) I don’t understand where this articulate, self-sufficient little person has come from. She is almost the same age as her sister was when I first met her. Kayla is now turning sixteen. When did that happen?
I guess this is just another unexpected side effect of parenting. A fifty-eight year old patient confided in me last week that her aches and pains were probably just a normal part of reaching “our age”, and I laughed it off. I go to the “little girl” section at Target to shop for my daughter and I’m pissy the rest of the day.
Maybe I just need some cake.