Today I am thirty-eight. Happy Birthday to me! Thirty-eight. How did that happen? I spend so much time freaking out over how fast time is going with my kids that I don’t even realize how every day of my own life is fleeting as well.
A couple years ago I was six. I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in our first grade production. I skipped across the stage in my sparkly red slippers, sitting down half way through to fix the elastic while the rest of the class continued singing.
A few months ago I was eight. I had my birthday party at Roller Land and wore my knickers. I remember them clearly. Maroon corduroy. Don’t judge.
Weeks ago I was sixteen. I started to drive. My red Volkswagon Rabbit. Stick shift. I experienced independence for the first time. I could roll down the windows when I felt the need to feel the wind in my hair. Listen to the music I wanted. At the volume I wanted. Go where I wanted. I got my first kiss. Thanks Adam. It was weird but wonderful.
Days ago I was twenty-one and I left college, scared. Anxious. Alone. I moved to NYC on my own to start Life. I meandered through the numbered streets blind to what was ahead. I got my first pedicure. That’s right, twenty-one was the first time I experienced that bliss.
Yesterday I met Tim. I was twenty-four. My first blind date that felt right. Mr Nice Guy felt right. I felt saved. Safe. It was the first big step forward that I knew was right.
Minutes ago I got married at twenty-nine. I forgot to put the veil over my face as I walked down the aisle. The Rabbi forgot Tim was Jewish. I forgot to give a thank you toast to my friends and family. (Thank you mom and dad for shelling out far too much money. But it was perfect.) But I remember every detail. Like it was yesterday.
Everything seems like it Was Yesterday. The vacations. The moves. The decisions. The births. The birthdays. So much has happened in what seems like so few days. The days are all blurred together yet so clear in my mind. Life. Thirty-eight years of life. And thankfully I have so much to show for it. (Including bags under my eyes, disheveled hair that is lucky to see a blow dryer once a week, unpedicured toes, a messy house, and triceps that sadly wiggle when I blow dry my hair). I’ve always said to those who complain about turning a year older that the only reason you should be unhappy about Your Day is if you’re unhappy with your life. I couldn’t be happier with my life.
So I will celebrate my day today as if I’m little again. Everywhere I go I will let everyone know it’s my birthday. I will buy balloons. I will have a cake with thirty-eight candles. And I will blow them out with a wish for the next thirty-eight to be as wonderful as the first. But maybe a little slower.