Can’t Believe the Candles

Now that I’m thirty-five, I can’t believe my parents were ever this young, rather, this young and parenting. Cuz I remember when my mom was thirty-five, (and what I remember as perfect) but i feel so young and not quite there yet.

I have the stroller and bike in drive, heels and my work. I’ve got my stellar storytimes, my teaching tricks, tuck-ins that leave them wanting more, but I am so still hunting for every lost thing. I’m up for all-nighters like I’m twenty, but now see dappled sunspots and use creaky knees.

Is this thirty-five?
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Seems like thirty-five is cement. Whatever you put it gets stuck, nailed in habit. For a wicked long time. For forever as long as there is street. My scary habits are hardening as we speak, as if my birthday cake accompanied a cement mixer and the need for rich clay face masks every night following dinner.

 

Who I am, my daily love speak, my political discussions that become sarcasm, my nicknames and loud, no-way-that’s-indoor-voice banter. It’s all there on the hard drive, and barely seems pliable enough to tweak. Thirty-five is a year that gets good, but is sheer reflection of momentum and habit, it seems.

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Thirty-fiveΒ is “Oh, snap”, my toned, perpetually ready for a bikini body won’t form itself. It is “Will I ever choose to play the violin again”? It is what will I show for today and this week, everything I pour in and drink up. A squashing of grapes, cup raised.

It is the season of examining the habits and what I think of before bed. Who do I want to be at thirty-six or do I dare say, forty?

My marriage, the habits of thought. My taste in clothing and perfume and color, remembering which scent sticks to me and lingers, remembering which bottle makes my husband sneeze. Where I once learned which style of eggs I preferred, now I have the quick tricks to use with kids and guests. It has all been formed and now I practice expression, how each feeling is executed, the smile as I blow out the candle.

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Thirty-five may be the best year yet. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a little bit terrifying, or at least, exhilarating.

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