40 Years Ago I Turned 4

It’s 12:06am.

 

I received my Barbie suitcase for my fourth birthday. My mom and aunts sewed all of the clothing. I still have most of it.

 

When I was 18 and found out that my mom had kept most of my precious toys of childhood – my Baby Alive, my Barbies(including Midge), my Little People, my collection of stuffed animals, and my 45s – I laughed at her and packed it all away deciding that I would toss it all when I bought my own house.

 

And here I am now 26 years later with Barbies that my kids play with, Little People Astrid sets up almost daily, and 45s that we dance to when we can. (The stuffed animals I threw away though…because yuck).

4 and 44

I don’t have 44 years of wisdom, or 44 things to tell you about myself. Or even 4 for that matter.

 

I just have two.

 

1. Listen to your mother. Because even though she seems crazy…it’s just because she’s a mother and one day you will see she knew better. Let her in. She knows stuff.

 

2. Love your dad. And make your dad play dolls with you and paint his nails, and let him spoil you like his little girl even when you’re not so little…because there’s nothing like a dad.

Oh and one more…

3. Cake and wine really are the perfect birthday treat. At any hour.

 

And Happy Birthday to my Grandma today! 89!!! Love you Gram and so thankful to be driving up to celebrate together. xo

 

Cheers.

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43

We were with family this past weekend and my sweet aunts were saying “it’s your birthday this week…how old are you going to be again?” And I said “43” and then my 18 year old cousin said “oh god, I don’t ever want to be that old” to which we all answered “it’s better than the alternative.”

 

I’m not sure she is convinced.  But that is okay.

 

I remember being in college when my mom was 43 and thinking she was close to death..because my god. 43.

 

And do you know what was so awesome about my mom at this time – when I probably called her old and made fun of her not so tight skin and graying hair and stretch-marked belly – she never made fun of my spiral perm.

Because she was wise. Even though she was old.

 

And maybe she remembered what it was like being that young. Because it really wasn’t that long ago that she was fresh out of high school with big dreams …but oh wait. …my mom was 20 ..married and then had two babies by the time she was 21.

 

I had a cat and nearly a college degree..all with that spiral perm.

 

But I have to say my mom now has her sweet revenge as she can say “you know by the time I was 43 both my kids had moved out and were on their own…you are 43 with a two year old!” And then she laughs this weird evil laugh.

 

I kind of want to give her a spiral perm.

*****

There’s been this article flying around again “In Praise of Older Women” – that Andy Rooney did not write…Frank Kaiser did. And I have to say I don’t love it. At all. I don’t need some article to tell me how great being in my 40’s is. I especially don’t need a man telling me this.

 

And it’s hard to explain to an 18 year old how wonderful being in my 40’s is – especially when she is looking at my face. And gray hair.

 

But truthfully I know that I look and feel better now than I did 20 years ago.

 

So there.

 

And the only reassurance I need that everything is okay with the world and that I’m right where I’m suppose to be..even at my advanced age..with a two year old…

 

Is this.

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