I turned 38 earlier this month.
I’m pretty sure that every member of my family ‘teased’ me about my obsession with numbers at one point or another (this year, and every year …. this month and every month). But I think I see life like a big, gridded calendar and knowing where everyone lies helps to quiet the never ceasing chaos of my brain.
Here’s the thing. I’m okay with being 38. I’m actually better than okay with being 38. It fits me. I fit into the grid nicely on December 12 and currently, at the age of 38. I’ve enjoyed my 30s. I don’t look my age (thank you Rodan + Fields and not having children) but even if I did, I think I’d be okay at 38. Every moment in life is a learning moment, something that helps you (hopefully!) become better, more thoughtful, more well-rounded. Something that helps you appreciate where you are at this very moment.
Today, my mother turns 70. I’m fairly certain she wouldn’t love me saying that. Most people don’t (although I routinely say people’s ages as I know them and their relationship to my own age — even if it’s in days, minutes, hours or years).
My mother is the best that seventy combined years has to offer. She is thoughtful, kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, open, understanding, opinionated, strong … she has a distinct voice not only in my world, but in THE world. She is measured in her responses, but that doesn’t prevent her from being cutting when she deems it appropriate (or necessary). She believes in things and stands by them. She soldiers on through the most unfair, the toughest of odds and she does it with a smile. Her eyes still sparkle, she still gets dressed up, she still has the delight of a child when something new, or unexpected surprises her.
She looked at me across the dinner table last night, and gazed down at her son, my little brother, seated at the end of the table, and I could see the love and pride in her eyes. She did an exceptional job raising us — she was the most lovely, most creative, most perfect mother a child could ask for. She treated us like people (she always said it was because she was not meant to be a mother, but I think it’s because she absolutely was meant to be a mother — our mother). She taught us, and took us on adventures, and made everything seem interesting and fun. She encouraged learning, and welcomed us onto her bed at night to read stories (during which she did all the voices). She made huge sacrifices we didn’t understand and she never burdened us with in order to give us the life we had as children.
As adults she has listened, supported us, allowed us to stretch our wings and both fall and fly. She has embraced our chosen partners (even dusting off her French to speak to David’s lady in her native tongue).
She is — quite simply — exquisite.
And despite my bizarre obsession with numbers, that’s all they really are. Just numbers. They don’t define an age, a person. They merely track time.
Anyway, today and every day I love my mummy. My mama bear. At every age. At any age.