Today I am 39. My Dad is still 39. So’s my Mom. I think my brother’s 46 though.
I remember when I realized that my mom wasn’t actually 39 anymore. We were in one of those annoying mall consumer survey things testing out ice cream sandwiches. And the questioner asked my mom her real age (52, I think). I was stunned! How’d that happen!? How’d my mom age 13 years just as we tasted the ice cream sandwiches? Now, I guess I was a pretty dopey twelve-year-old to not wonder why my mother never aged, but I think kids probably do have a pretty idealized view of their mothers, right? Yeah, let’s say that’s it.
So I — the youngest child of Hank and Lorraine, the perpetually-thirty-nine — am now 39. I have 3 college degrees under my belt and am now what I like to call an “independent scholar” (a.k.a. unemployed). I am married to Grant, that gentleman who always adds several months to his age (“I’m 42!” “No, honey, you’re only 41.” “Meh. What’s the difference?” “About 4 months.”). I wait to meet four children in Heaven. I now enjoy two gentleboys, aged 42 months and 12 days and 17 months exactly. I own a Westie, aged 25 months, who likes to save her outside duties for me alone.
I am eating my birthday breakfast of cinnamon toast (made from old hot dog buns) served on our “You are Special Today” plate and coffee in my “Snap Out of It” mug (lovingly purchased by my gentle hubby during a tiff we were having in the mall). My Hubby drinks from our “Support Your Local Rhetorician” mug. Gavin shares his Diego yogurt from his new Ikea frog dish with Sugar (25 months) who leaps in the air like a circus dog for anything that’s not kibble. Isaac consumes “coffee” (aka H2O) in a math mug. We discuss the differences between a DirecTV DVR and Tivo. And Grant calls me to watch MST3K’s “Mr. B’s Movie Shorts” while Gavin begs me to play the concertina to hear Sugar howl.
This year Grant found my first grey hair. We took our kids to Walt Disney World for the first time (a life-long dream since we spent our honeymoon there). I signed a contract to publish my first book. I wore pants to the local mall for the first time. And we have Labor Day off for the first time in 20 years. Inside I still feel like I look like this:
When did I change? I don’t remember it. When did I get less pig-tailed, taller, heavier? When did I stop wearing yarn in my hair and cutting my bangs straight across and curling my hair with pink foam rollers? When did I stop twirling in my mint green prairie dress?
Nonetheless, these dear souls, who have all aged 19 years since this Olan Mills masterpiece, plus all the other dear people who have joined our family since will celebrate this day today at someplace that’s not “Daddytown” (aka Gattitown). To me, we will all still look like this at Olive Garden today. Mom and Dad still look 39 (while they are actually 49 and 54 respectively in this photo), Steve still looks like a fresh-faced BMOC. and I’m still the most thrilled by reading Charlotte’s Web for the umpteenth time and watching Gilligan’s Island all day. Sounds like a perfect day!