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Happy Birthday To Me?

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: Why aren't I proud that I'm a fortysomething mommy with two healthy children and a husband who still thinks I'm hot, or at least hot-ish?

woman and son guess how old she is

Fortysomething. Didja catch that? I won't even type the truth here. Not that it's hard to find out my age. Google me, I'm sure it'll turn up.

It's just too high a number for me to write anywhere near my name.

My five-year-old doesn't seem to appreciate my right to privacy/denial regarding my age.

"My mom just had a birthday everyone and she's FORTY BLAH BLAH," he yelled, stepping on the to school bus the other morning.

Only he didn't say BLAH BLAH.

"Happy Birthday," one of the moms I don't know well said to me looking me up and down.

Her voice had a "My, my, my," tone to it. I was holding my 18 month old in my arms and I'd like to think her attitude was reflecting her admiration for my late-in-life-fertility, but I'm pretty sure it was more, "Look at her with her miracle of science baby!" Which is true, of course, my second son was IVF inspired. And I'm certainly not secretive about that.

So what's the hang-up about my age? Well, I used to be mostly an actress where telling your age is a bad career move. But I also lied about the year of my birth because for most of my life. I never thought I'd done enough with my years on the planet. Fewer years, less expectation.

Now I think it's about something I never worried about until I had children, a fear of death. Unless I find a way to suck the Fountain of Youth, I am past the mid-way point of my life. Less years left here than I've already lived. Damn, just when it was getting good. There's something about my five year old yelling my age out loud that blows like a siren through my ears right to my heart.

I am grateful that my days aren't yet numbered, but, alas, it's starting to feel like my years are.

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
ame i. January 29, 2009, 9:38 AM

My girls, 9 & 11, kindly call me thirty-ten.

Saph January 29, 2009, 10:00 AM

When I was 32 I convinced my little ones that I was really 22. My neice drew me a birthday card with that age on at nursey which her teacher (who I am friends with) passed to me with a knowing smile on her face when I picked her up. My neice then told everyone there that I needed a birthday cake with 50 candles on it! Is that what’s called karma? Ha ha!

Forty-something January 29, 2009, 10:13 AM

I was having some ‘issues’ when I was about to turn forty and decided channel my thoughts into something positive, so I created a community website for forty-something women. I’ve now realised that most women ‘our age’ actually feel great about being in their forties and don’t mind the many candles on the cake! (I had NO cake on my birthday by the way!) LOL. Blanca

jane January 29, 2009, 1:01 PM

wow can I relate to this! 40+ myself…and I wrestle with why that matters to me so much all of a sudden? What’s the hangup, anyway?

Jill January 30, 2009, 5:48 AM

My mother is fifty-one and will proudly volunteer this information. So much of aging is about attitude. There’s no shame in aging. It happens to everyone :o)

None of us knows how much time we have on Earth. My father died at fifty-two of a brain tumor. His death taught me to appreciate every moment I get and not worry so much about whether I’ve made anything of myself or done anything with my life. I spend my time doing the things that are the most important to me and look to the future, however much or little there is of it for me.

Dani, you are a mother. That means you have done plenty with your life so far and will continue to do plenty. Don’t lose sight of that. Moms can be an awesome force for good in the world.

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