My blogs are generally about life from the vantage point of a 50-something, neurotic, hormonally challenged woman. That would be me. This week my oldest daughter is turning 30. I think that under the circumstances, the only reasonable response is, “What the hell?!”
If I was on the Cash Cab (“A TV game show played right here in my taxi” ~Ben Bailey), she would be my mobile shout-out. She’s just that smart. That doesn’t stop me from seeing her as a kid. Never mind that she has a good job, makes her mortgage payments on time, and is married to a great guy; she thinks that being a mature responsible adult means owning a gravy boat. That’s what grown-ups do.
The more important consideration here is what it’s doing to her mother. I know all about the seven stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, Vodka, and all that stuff. I’m sufficiently self-aware to know that I’m stuck in denial. I’m pretending that Friday is just another ordinary day, other than trying to count the Weight Watchers points for a bean burrito at Chili’s.
Until recently, I was regularly mistaken for her sister. Whether it’s the gray roots that need touching up, the deepening wrinkles, or the inability to wear a crop top without posing a hazard to the mental health of those around me, I don’t look like a kid anymore. If I was wearing a belly button ring, it would be jabbing the kneecap of the man in front of me in the elevator.
I think that’s why this birthday is hitting me hard. I don’t have grandchildren as a daily reminder that Nana can’t even hoist a bag of potatoes, let alone a baby, without a heating pad, three ibuprofen, and a trip to the emergency room. That rattle you hear as I’m bouncing a toddler on my hip in the grocery aisle would be my crumbling pelvis.
I know that eventually I’ll get to acceptance. I’ll be able to admit that my baby is no longer a baby, I’ll come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to safely wear a belly button ring, and I’ll buy myself a gravy boat. That’s what grown-ups do.