It’s our nightly ritual, I snuggle in beside Carson and forehead to forehead we discuss very deep topics like Mario and Dino Dan. Somehow last night we ended up on the subject of spring and our eagerness for it’s arrival.
“Carson, did you know that my birthday is on the first day of spring?” I asked him.
“It is?” he seemed impressed. “Are you going to be forty?” Well.
Later on in the evening, I was thinking about being grown up and inching closer to forty (in four years and twenty days, but I’m not counting!). By any standards, I’ve been grown up for quite some time. I have a mortgage and two kids that I feed EVERYDAY. I can actually afford to buy name brand food instead of generic at the grocery store, I burn candles instead of saving them, and I know how to improvise in the kitchen. I have regular conversations with my children about the importance of wearing clean underwear everyday, no matter what.
I look in the mirror and see wrinkles and I no longer get carded to buy wine. My feet are bigger and my hair is thicker and becoming more dry. There are kinks to be worked out of my stiff joints when I wake up every morning. Fiber is an important part of my diet.
When I think of who I am, the me on the inside, she’s not the person I imagined I’d be when I was younger. I thought that getting older would mean I would be changed from the inside out. I just knew that when I was thirty-five, I would be old, breathless, and dull. My clothes would be stiff and my hair cut in a practical bob. I thought that by now I would know things that I don’t. The only thing that separates me from that earlier version of my self is simply a checklist of things I’ve accomplished. (Well, that and sensible shoes.)
I’m still the girl who laughs with my head thrown back and mouth wide open, likes eye-liner and Led Zeppelin, loud. I do an occasional cartwheel for no reason in the middle of my living room. I still cry easily.
I’m still me.