I just finished washing up after fixing my family a hearty (read: ventricle slamming) breakfast in honor of my son's 15th birthday. Funny how different things make me feel young, and different things make me feel old.
My own birthdays don't really affect me much anymore. I went into a spiraling depression on number 38; all the Things I've Never Done loomed very large. So too did the Things I'll Never Do- not that I wanted to become a ballet dancer or go to the Olympics or be in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Putting things into the file marked "that ship done sailed" hurt more than I thought it would. I got my groove back around age 40. There truly is a freedom that comes with new dreams.
The older my kids get, the older I feel. I find myself telling old stories more, you know the drill: When I Was Your Age, We Had To Walk To School Uphill In The Snow, We Ate Dirt And We Were Thankful, etc. My children never tire of hearing about things they did as babies. It's like they need to fill up that time gap from birth to when their own memories take over. As much as I enjoy it, it blows my mind. I still have trouble saying I did anything 15 years ago, much less I gave birth 15 years ago.
I still get angry that I've been cheated on the wonderful times I could be having with my mom. There's so much she could talk me through right now, so much we could share. I hate cancer.
But there's an odd sort of hope, too- I am very firmly PARENT, but more and more becoming FRIEND. I have so much fun with my kids. Quite frankly, the older they get the more interesting they are. And I'm looking forward to being an old lady with unholy joy. Old ladies can get away with anything. Demand certain seating, tell someone off, pat the occasional young man's tight backside, whatever. Old ladies can do it all.
And as much as I love my children, I'm dreaming of the things I'll be able to do when they're gone. Or at least at college.