Birthday blues

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.

12 thoughts on “Birthday blues

  1. A weight-watchers cake on your table – such an oxymoron!

    I’m sure belly button rings can go septic – best avoided.

  2. I’m the opposite…I’m pushing 44 and I have a kid that is pushing 8. I started this parenting business just a little later than I suppose most do…

    I’ve got the white roots, the sagging belly (and everything else) and I can’t believe I have an 8 year old. I’ve got the bad back, a sciatic nerve that just won’t quit and bunions…oh what fun.

    As usual, great blog.

  3. This is awesome and timely – my husband is turning 40. Today. I’ve been tormenting him for a week (i.e. “Omigod, this is the last time you’re brush your teeth in your thirties!”) and today he got me – I’ll be 41 this year – back with this little gem: “You do realize you’re now closer to 50 than 30.” Bugger.

  4. Shortly after my daughter turned 30, she sprouted a bud…

    We call him Nate and I’m sure, when she hits 50, his 20 will be the new 30…

    ‘Course I’ll be 80-sumthin’…

    Just sayin’

  5. Sweet lady, if you were mistaken for your daughter’s sister, then you are so ahead of the game, roots and wrinkles notwithstanding. I would so be shopping at those 20 somethings boutiques! (ok maybe not). I have a 28 year old and a 37 year old, and in my eyes they are 6 and 9 respectively. That serves two purposes. One, soothes my maternal instincts (can’t seem to get rid of those) and Two, makes me feel younger (and bageezus do I ever need to feel younger!).
    I don’t know about you, but I enjoy my 50’s…….in fact, a lot better than my 40’s but not quite as much as my 30’s. As long as I can still differentiate between the whites and the red wines and as long as I can still enjoying looking at a lovely woman, I’m good.

  6. Hey Chica, where’s your Twitter button?

    Lazy person here. I’ll tweet you anyways, but still. 🙂

  7. Hey Karla–William is turning 30 in just a couple of weeks. I’m using him as the guinea pig for a new realty show I want to pitch to some gullible network: Ambush Birthday.

    I still get mistaken for Collin’s wife/girlfriend/sister. I think it’s because I’m so immature.

  8. My mom did not like it one bit when I turned thirty this year. All the other birthday were okay, but NOT thirty! Now not only does she not want me to ever speak her real age out loud, but now mine as well.

  9. My oldest is 34 now and starting to bald!!! The delightful grandson he gifted me with is some solace. Although babysitting the other night reminded me of why we should have children when we’re young enough to keep up with them. Two hours of “Come on Gamma” left me exhausted.

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