As the child that made me a mother celebrates her birthday, it’s given me pause to reflect. So many birthday celebrations over the years. I was never big on parties, particularly the present requirement. We had our standard group we would hang out with, so it was always the same folks at all the birthday parties. Two of us were single moms, so the budget didn’t have room for presents that would quickly lose their appeal. The moms got together and made a pact – no gifts – just a party to celebrate with friends.
Over the years, birthdays have caused many legacy moments. Bowling parties were particularly fun, as they would put cushions in the gutters, so there was no such thing as a gutter ball. Most were home parties, always a fun time. When we realized going somewhere meant someone else cleaned up the mess. More and more of the parties were at a location. As the girls grew, they were able to pick the theme and location of the party. I believe it was my first born’s eighth or ninth birthday that I ended up canceling before the invitations went out. At this point, I do not recall the behavior that warranted such drastic action. As the date approached, she informed me that she had verbally invited the entire class and several indicated they would be there. We went to the roller rink, where the party was originally planned to be. Much to my surprise, several of her classmates and parents were there. Indeed, a legacy moment.
I have been twenty-seven for so long, I can’t imagine being any other age. I’m not sure why I settled on twenty-seven. I know it inadvertently started around twenty-four. Someone would ask me how old I was and I would say twenty-seven, truly believing I was. Roundabout twenty-nine, it became a thing and I would just celebrate anniversaries of my twenty-seventh birthday.
There have been very few times I’ve been aware of getting older. The first was when my firstborn turned ten. There was something about having a child turn double digits. The youngest when my baby graduated high school. I distinctly remember walking around the base in whiting field and thinking we will be gone from here before I need to worry about the quality of the school district. As the younger one was getting ready to graduate that memory came flooding back and I realized in terms of my children, I would never have to worry about school districts again. The third and final time I was aware of my age was three years ago when the issues with my eye began. The eye doctor I was seeing realized I needed a cornea specialist. He called the best guy in town. He started the conversation with – “I have a fifty-eight-year-old woman here.” Many thoughts ran through my head, the final one being **** he’s talking about me. I feel truly blessed that at my age there are only three legacy moments that made me feel aware of my age.