When each of my kids turns nine years old, I always say the same thing.
“Gee, half of your childhood is over!”
Then they look at me all puzzled-like, “Huh? What do you mean…”
“Well, you’re an adult once you reach the age of 18. And you are nine years old today. Half of 18 is nine. So, half of your childhood is over.” And then I wait for a reaction.
All but one of my kids smiled when I told them that. I’ve even had a few who got excited and said, “Cool!” because to them, being 18 and an “adult” is something to look forward to.
But not my Alex. When I told him that, he looked at me with an expression on his face that said, “OH MY GOD what are you saying?” Then he started crying. Yes, crying. So I did my best to cheer him up, but you can’t unsay what you said, so his mind was already going with the idea and there was no stopping it. He just kept saying, “But I don’t want my childhood to be over!” Poor kid. I traumatized him on his birthday. Bad Mommy. But that was a few years ago. Today, at age 14, he’s doing much better with it. Puberty has kicked in, he’s looking forward to getting his driver’s license and shaving, and all is well with this thing called growing up.
But I have to tell you that today — on my 45th Birthday — I’m feeling a little something similar to what Alex felt. Because here I am at an age that when you double it you get the number 90.
I’m halfway to ninety!!
That means half of my youth is over. Damn. That was quick.
In just five more years I will be fifty. But fifty doesn’t bother me. And sixty doesn’t scare me, either. My own mother is in her 60’s and seeing how youthful and active and attractive she still is, how can sixty scare me? It doesn’t. In fact, my mother isn’t all that far away from seventy, so seventy doesn’t really scare me, either. Now I’ll admit that eighty is pushing it. I see eighty as old, but doable. I think eighty these days might be the new seventy. People live well into their 80’s, and you see it more and more. But ninety? Hmmm. I don’t know about those 90’s. When you reach your 90’s people start congratulating you as if you won a race or something.
“Ninety, huh? Well, good for you!”
“You’re ninety? Wow, that’s amazing!”
When people start calling you “amazing” just for reaching an age, then I feel you have officially arrived at old.
I can’t believe I am halfway to old. Halfway!
Well, whatever. It is what it is. Besides, this little guy of mine keeps me feeling young.
That is, until I start thinking about how when he is my age…I will be pushing ninety. Ninety! Okay, now I feel old again.
Happy Birthday to me, and all of you out there who share my birthday!! July 14th ROCKS!!
And if you are turning ninety today…..well then, good for you! You are amazing!