Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Turning the Big Six-Oh (Oh No!)

I never got depressed or stressed when I hit any of the milestone birthdays, the "big ones."  Thirty, forty, fifty--those numbers were not all that big a deal to me.  But SIXTY..hoo boy, that's a big number.  That sounds old.  You know, very senior citizen-esque.  That's a lot of years of living on this earth.  At that advanced age, you'd think I'd be the wisest woman in town, but this is not even close to the truth.  (And we live in a pretty small VA town these days.)  I still feel like the exact same person inside that I've always been, like the shy young girl who could hardly look at a cute boy when she passed him in the hall in high school (and then ended up marrying him--proving that anything is possible and dreams can come true!); however, my outside is starting to show a good amount of wear and tear.

But as my dear dad, who died  almost two years ago, just one day shy of his 82nd birthday, would say, "It's better than the alternative."  Dad loved birthdays.  His last week with us, he knew he was dying but he REALLY wanted to hang on to celebrate one last birthday.  That's how much love of life he had in him, even at the end.

So in his honor, I think I'll embrace 60 and remember that it is indeed better than the alternative.  Especially when you are surrounded by the love of a big and ever-growing family.

A couple of weeks ago, when our youngest son was in VA with his girlfriend (on leave and in the States for the first time since last summer), the kids planned a dinner out at a restaurant in our little hometown.  The four oldest boys and their wives got babysitters for all but our youngest grandchild (she was the youngest at the time, anyway--as reported in yesterday's post, another Pearl has since been added to the string), so it was a very rare grown-ups only dinner.  I had been eagerly anticipating this night out with all of my favorite grown-ups on earth.

When my husband and I walked into the restaurant, I realized that it was actually a surprise birthday celebration for me as well--a few weeks early, since our youngest would be back in Germany on my actual "natal day," as my Dad liked to call it.

There were balloons!
There was cake!
There were presents!

But most importantly, there were these precious faces gathered around the table together.  These are my people, and I am the luckiest 60-year-old woman on the face of the earth.
I've got more gray hairs these days.  More wrinkles. More aches and pains.  More fat around the middle that won't seem to go away (no matter how much ice cream I eat--ha ha!).  But I've got this amazing bunch of humans who love me and whom I adore.

Young mamas, look forward to this.  All the sleepless nights, changing dirty diapers, mediating squabbles over toys, fixing dinners for the pickiest of eaters, taxiing carloads of smelly football players, listening to your darlings' accusations of being "the strictest parents in the whole school"--all of those things you're going through now (and that's just the tip of the iceberg, of course) will be well worth it when your children become kind, thoughtful, responsible adults and fill your table with love and laughter, when they start having families of their own.

Life is indeed a gift.  So I'll take 60, with a heaping helping of cake.

18 comments:

  1. Awww, Happy birthday my beautiful sister (and soulmate Grammy!) I love you!!!

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  2. Laura, this is beautiful! You are the most youthful 60 year old I know! *hug*

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    1. Thanks, Tiffany! You are the sweetest.

      Hey, I already have a librarian daughter-in-law; and now one of her 7-year-old twin girls says she wants to be one, too, when she grows up (she has a library play kit, complete with old-school cards to paste in the back of books and a date stamper with which to fill them in). I thought you of all people would appreciate hearing that! :)

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    1. Thanks, Maggie, for stopping by and for leaving a comment (I love comments!). I haven't been a very faithful blogger as of late, but I hope to get back into doing it more regularly. Hope to "see" you here again. :)

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  4. The gift of time, the best present ever! You represent 60 very well..... Wishing you many more birthdays to come.

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    1. I wish the same for you, my friend! :) XO

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  5. Happy birthday! I love this big group of Pearls. I hope your very day was as special as your early celebrated day!!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, it was a very special day. I ended up seeing all the grandkids. Spent the morning with #1's five (we're still helping out over there as they adjust to having a newborn in the house); #2's wife brought lunch over for my husband and me (and more importantly, their two adorable boys--best lunch dates ever!); and then we had a dinner double-date out planned by son #3 and his wife--and helped to get their three little ones fed, bathed, and put to bed before the babysitter got there. After dinner, we stopped by the house of son #4 and snuggled on the triplets. So all in all, it was about as good a day as it gets!


      Thanks for all your sweet comments here at the blog over the years. I hope to get back to posting more regularly, because for whatever reason exercising my atrophying writing muscles here makes me so happy. If I can get myself to do it in the morning, before the day fills up with activities, that would be a great way to start each day. We shall see...

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  6. Happy birthday, Laura! This post was lovely! Praying you have a blessed year!

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    1. Thank yo--for this sweet comment and all your other comments and support over the years, both here and on FB! With our real life connections, perhaps one day we will meet!

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    2. Laura, I read almost every single one of your blog posts when they come in my email! I love your writings and reading about your sweet family. Hope to meet you one day when we make our way to VA!

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  7. Happy birthday, Laura! You look great and are so very much blessed. I turned 60 last November and that was a big one for me to wrap my mind around. I only have two granddaughters and two grandsons but I love those four so much. Grandchildren are the best! :)

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    1. They are, aren’t they? They make being 60 not bad at all! :)

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  8. Happy Birthday! Wishing you all the best in your new decade!

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