When I was one
I had just begun,
When I was two
I was nearly new,
When I was three
I was hardly me,
When I was four
I was not much more,
When I was five
I was just alive...
Some woman on their birthday's claim to be 21 or 29 or 34 or some other age that is somehow acceptable in their own minds. They never admit to being older, regardless of the years going by. Somehow, to these women this is considered a very funny joke. I have never really understood it. But I believe the root of it is not humor, I fear the true root of this "joke" is sorrow. Sorrow at growing older? At leaving behind a piece of joy, innocence or simply time that cannot be brought back.
Perhaps I am wrong; perhaps I just don't get the joke.
I made several vows to myself as a child. I also made lists - I should post some of them here before the plain paper they are on comes up missing or destroyed. Perhaps I shall go find them....hold on............Found them! One of the vows I made as a child is that I would never regret getting older. I would always state it proudly, being sure to add the "and-a-half" of needed. Now, this promise is easy to make when one is young. And at the ripe age of 28 I believe I am still young and still cannot grasp the magnitude or even impossibility of this promise. So perhaps I shall change it; I vow that I shall focus on that which is new and full of life, and never allow myself to become consumed by that which is old and nearing extinction. Ok - perhaps that is a little extreme. But a personal vow is an extreme thing. After all, none of us knows exactly how soon the end will come. I am reminded all of a sudden of some sacred words:
When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.
Do you realize what that means? Look at the words again. It means that if we are 3 or 3000 it doesn't matter. We have forever with God. So what is a number? At the end of a thousand years eternity is still eternity. And that is a GOOD thing, it is not something to roll our eyes at and joke away. I am excited to my toes to spend eternity singing praise! So what is 28?
Ah, now it sounds like I am trying to convince myself that age doesn't matter. That is not my intent I assure you. Age does matter. We celebrate birthdays bigger then everything else after all. Even most of our yearly holidays have their root in birthdays. Be it the birth of a new season or the re-birth of a savior raised again.
Birth has been all around me lately. Birthing of new lives, birthing of nephews, birthing of friendships, birthing of marriage, birthing of pumpkins from their seeds, of butterflies and new responsibilities. But today we are celebrating MY birth, and I say that unashamedly! I claim this day. So please, celebrate with me! I suggest a lovely cup of tea. Oooh, that reminds me; I have a new tea! I am drinking it now. It has a lovely bite to it and that makes me smile. It is a spiced orange black tea. I have been enjoying it because from the moment I took a sip I thought of the Huntington Gardens. Did they have an orange spice black tea they served? I can't remember. All I know is this tea tastes like I am there. Perhaps I shall fashion some cucumber sandwiches to go with it? Ah, but that would mean cooking. I am not doing any cooking or dishes today. It is my gift to myself!
Oh yes, my list! In honor of getting older - I shall share my list of what I don't want to forget about being a kid. This list was put together over many many years. I think I started it when I was 11ish? Feel free to add to it in the comments if you like, I am always looking to expand!
Things I don't want to forget about childhood
1. The joy of opening a letter that came in the mail, especially if it has your name on it
2. Getting something new
3. The feel of mud in-between your toes (this was written before the "mud incident")
4. Playing in the hose with bare feet
5. Getting to have a fire in the fireplace
6. Having money as Your Own
7. Joy at having the undivided attention of a teenage
8. The simple magic of life!
9. Getting to do something Big People do
10. Eating ice-cream after stirring it into goop
11. Having an adult read to you
12. Picking a flower and getting to go home and put it into water
13. Finding a penny, nickel, dime; especially quarters!
14. That wonderful feeling you get before a holiday
15. Getting to spend the night at a friend's house, just you
16. The joy of surprise gifts
17. Getting to stay up later then normal
18. Getting to spend the day just you and a mom, dad, sister, brother
19. Someone truly listening to your stories, explanations, etc
20. Sitting on a loved one's lap
21. Getting to do something, not only a little challenging, but dangerous!
22. Blowing bubbles in milk.
23. The frustration at being treated un-fairly
24. Getting your own can of soda
25. Waking up at a friend's house.
26. How hard it was being forced to go to the bathroom first thing at Disneyland
27. Eating ice
28. Your first pet that is YOUR pet
29. Singing for hours
30. Princess baths
31. Self created T-shirts
32. How real your imagination world is to you
33. Winter's first real storm, Spring's first truly sunny day
34. MIDSUMMER VACATION
35. Opening your Christmas stocking
36. Popping bubble wrap
37. Getting a surprise treat (such as ice cream while out on an errand)
38. Receiving affirmation from an adult that is a stranger
39. Just how LONG time feels when you are waiting for something fun
40. The importance of that special "best" friend.
41. A new responsibility that means you are finally old enough
42. How much growing hurts, both physically and emotionally
43. The wildness of the wind!
44. The satisfaction of completing something all by yourself.
I know there is more just waiting to be written. And I also was reminded that I should start now my list of "what I never want to forget about being a mom" Though that may need several sections; ‘Mom to babies,’ ‘mom to toddlers’ etc. I never made a pregnant one. There was too much I wanted to forget!
Today? Today. May 21st. Today I am 28 years old. But I believe I may start telling everyone I am six. I believe, like Christopher Robin that it may be the perfect age. And if others can claim a ridiculous age then so can I!
But now I am six!
I'm as clever as clever;
so I think I'll be six now
for ever and ever
- A.A. Milne