Thirty-eight and the zoo.

Thirty-eight years old.  That is how old I am today.  It is not a big birthday as birthdays go, but it is the oldest I have ever been (duh) and I expected it to feel older.  I still feel 37.  Or 33.  Maybe even 30. 

Well maybe not 30, but not 38.

It is hard to believe it was 10 years ago that I was 28. (I know…I am a math genius!)  I was newly engaged.  I lived in a tiny, old apartment which was walking distance from bars and restaurants that I actually could go to on a whim on a Thursday.  Not that I did.  I could not have imagined what would happen in the ten years that followed that birthday.  Some bad, but mostly good, the decade that followed 28 was big.   I had not one or two but THREE kids…and all boys!  (I still think God has a great sense of humor with that one.)   I have shared in the grief that followed the loss of two of my husband’s parents and my mother’s closest sibling.  I have shared in the joy of the birth of my godson/nephew.  And I have been lucky to have two of my three sisters find their way to my corner of Florida and set up full, rich lives here.

And then there was the decade before that one.  At 18, I had just graduated from high school and was starting to work for the third year in a row as a lifeguard in Sunrise, FL.  I preparing for college in a far-away land…Ohio…where who knows what awaited me.  Turns out it was a great group of friends, a wonderful 7-year relationship with a kind man whose life ended way too early and TONS of snow.  I spent a whirlwind summer in Europe, earned not one but two college degrees and made the decision that would change the whole course of the rest my life: I moved to Jacksonville and met HH.  And from there, the rest fell into place.

At 38, I wonder what the next decade has in store for me?

Perhaps we’ll put in real floors or add counters in the kitchen?  Perhaps we’ll be able to invite people over without fear of an unexpected nudist at the dinner table or the risk of being gored by the toilet? (That is a blog post for another day.)  Perhaps I will drive a car that does not have Corn Flakes, animal crackers and pretzels all over the place or Tic Tac Toe keyed into the door?  Perhaps life with HH and my three little hooligans will settle down and…nah.  Who am I kidding?! 🙂

What I do know about this year, this moment, this birthday is that I have a great life, no matter how crazy it gets.  I am lucky to have a loving and wonderful family and a smattering of friends, near and far, that I love and that love me back.  And so many of my friends and family have reached out to wish me well on this “non-big” birthday (thank you very much, FB!) 

It is all good, even when it’s not all perfect…or clean…or quiet…you get the picture. 

Vader summed it up for me this morning.

“Mommy!  Happy birthday to you. You live in a zoo.  You look like a monkey and act like one too.” 

Yep, that is about right for 38.

As for the next decade?

Bring.

It.

On.

🙂

~Jennifer

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2 Comments

  1. Wishing you health love and happiness on this special day and always.
    That sounded kinda Hallmarkish didn’t it? It’s the best I could do since I couldn’t buy you a drink.

    Loved this look back on your life.

    Happy Birthday!

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