Champagne and Advil
The other night we were at a friend’s house for dinner and when we were leaving I stumbled on my way down their walkway, falling to the ground and twisting my ankle badly. It made that crunching noise that sends shivers up your spine and your mind straight to the ER and it happened so quickly I was on my butt before my knees or my instincts had a chance to catch me.
My son started crying, as a five-year-old boy will do when his mom is suddenly hurting right before his very eyes. My daughter rushed to my side, as a nine-year-old will, wanting to help but unsure of what to do. And I sat there, the pain almost too much to bear, trying to hold back tears and curse words in the same breath.
I have a feeling that moment will stay with them – and me – forever.
I could blame it (partially) on the champagne but the reality is that 38 has been a tough year on me, physically. For the first time ever, I have felt my age. In my skin, in my bones, in my moods. I am just a little more tired, a little more achy, a little more sensitive…than I have ever been before. I know that 38 is nothing in the grand scheme of aging. It’s an opening hurdle. Not even 40. Barely even catching a glimpse of middle age. But I feel it already. It has been sprained ankles and sensitive knees. It has been bad skin and hormonal moods. It has been 9pm bed times and champagne that hits me a little earlier in the evening and affects me a little later the following morning.
But at the same time, it has been life with a 9-year-old. It has been someone who is up to my shoulders, height-wise, and who doesn’t look at all out of place on the odd occasion when I let her sit shotgun. It is nights when we lay in bed chatting, even though the clock says 10 minutes past her bedtime and my 38-year-old eyes say it’s almost mine. It is conversations about politics and books and life that simply weren’t there when I was 30. When my knees were better. It has been life with a 5-year-old. It has been swimming in the deep end and kindergarten and learning to read and sight words. It has been family dinners where everyone actually eats the same thing and traveling through airports without a care in the world and two people who run to your side when you fall.
So while some aspects of 38 are kicking my ass (literally), so many other aspects of it, of this stage, of this particular chapter of life, are wonderful. Easy-going, joy-filled, balanced.
And I am going to try to focus on those pieces of it for now instead.
Champagne in one hand and Advil in the other.