I turned 43 a week ago today.
It was a quiet day. Birthdays at this age aren’t the source of fanfare they used to be. Still, it was nice day filled with good wishes and friendly camaraderie. My girlfriends had taken me out a few days before, my family took me out the day after, and all manner of far flung people filled my cell phone and Facebook page with their thoughts.
I’ve always said that getting older doesn’t really bother me. In fact, I try to revel in the fact that I am extremely healthy and look young for my age, despite having a child in his twenties. Certainly I’ve never even thought about lying about my age; as it is, people still greet my eldest’s age and station in life with shock. I see them do the math in their heads when I tell them how old he is, how old I am. Still, all told, 43 isn’t a problem for me.
I’ll be 43 this year, the year I become a grandmother.
My son and his wife shared their news with us this weekend, four days after my birthday. They are expecting their first child, in March.
So many thoughts have occurred to me since the moment they told us. They seem so, so young. Except they’re five years older than I was when I had him. They seem so unprepared, but yet they both still have good jobs. I was still in college when I had my son. They’ll need to move, to find a bigger place, but they’re still out on their own. I was living at home, with my mom, when my son was born.
Everything I hear myself saying about how they’re not ready yet to be parents flies in the face of my own experiences. And I worked it out, made a good life for my child, my children. Right?
I want to happy for them, but I am so worried for them. I wanted my son to not make any of the same mistakes that I did, and to have a much different experience than I had as a young adult. I wanted him to revel in his twenties, have that time to enjoy life and travel and not worry about every penny, not worry about tomorrow and just have fun.
But I raised this boy to be responsible, thoughtful, and goal oriented. So he’s done it all right: gone to college, gotten his degree, gotten married, lived on his own, saved his money. He didn’t waste his time partying because it simply isn’t in him. I hope he feels that he’s had a lot of wonderful experiences, that he’s enjoyed his life as a young man. Because his life is about to change dramatically. It won’t ever be the same. And most of the time, that will be wonderful, amazing, a gift that he will always cherish.
I hope they’re ready. I pray they are ready. And I wish, against all hope, that somehow the universe will hear me.