I turned 40 last month, but I’m so busy running after a mini-me 24/7 that I didn’t have too much time to think about it. I don’t have too many emotions around birthdays, other than a “thank you thank you I’m still alive” kind of feeling and a “I hope this is not even the half way point” wish. I am happy and healthy and forever grateful to have those two gifts.
At 38, having a baby was the most incredible blessing–which is only hitting me as I turn 40. I say this to other new moms out there who are dealing with postpartum hormonal messiness, lack of sleep, a whole new lifestyle, etc. It has taken over a year to really start to adjust, to feel at ease again, and to actually enjoy the process. To have this baby girl call me “ma MA” (emphasis on the second ma) and demand I pick her up by reaching up for me with her little chubby arms, well it’s a kind of love I was made for. I had no idea. No one tells you the right things about having kids. The kind of love they give and the kind of love they demand is rewarding and exhausting all at the same time.
So what do I do on my 40th birthday? I dress my baby up in a matching dress & take her out for some BBQ because that is how we do it! I thank my lucky stars that she came into my life. Have you seen her? She is so adorable. And funny. And adventurous. And super strong. And stubborn. Her best friend is a dog–besides mama, dada–her other word is “BALL”–as in, Huxley, go get the ball. And I’m the one that gets to show her the world!
I decided to spend almost a week in Palm Springs to celebrate. Mostly with the little one, but now I’m here without her for some much needed quiet time. I do miss the quiet life, the lack of responsibility that comes with not having to worry constantly “where is my baby? what is that in her mouth?”–so I am enjoying the peace much more than I ever did before. These two days will help get me through the next year, LOL, so I am soaking it all up. A run without a giant jogging stroller, a 26 lb baby & a 60 lb dog running next to me? Yes please! I begged my friend last night, “Can we please go out to eat? Like at a restaurant? And just walk around the shops?” Because going out to eat with my kid is one of the most anxiety-inducing activities I do.
The smaller moments have become bigger this year. I still worry about my career (or lack of), my business, my rent, etc, but these are all overshadowed by one evening spent with Kenzy. I take her into the pool and carry her along as I narrate a full-on Olympic swimming event with her as the star, and yes, I call her “Michelle Phelps”– “Michelle Phelps is going for the gold. It’s an Olympic record, it may even be a world record, ladies and gentleman–and she has done it completely naked, with bottle in hand!” We both laugh as I hold her up in the air and wonder what Olympics she will make her debut in (she can be whatever she want, as long as we try every Olympic sport first).
It is weird that I’m 40 and still act like a kid most of the time. Growing up, you would go buy a bunch of “Over the hill” stuff for 40th birthdays, and it sounded like the most horrible thing. That section of the party store would have like joke canes and stuff!! All of it was black and menacing looking. It sounded SO OLD. But it feels like I’m just getting started. My body doesn’t feel like it’s falling apart–yes, it’s squishy from that baby (JUST ASK BEYONCE IF YOU NEED TO SHE SAYS IT’S OK), but man–the potential is still there! I have wrinkles, but instead of botox or fillers I just don’t spend much time looking in the mirror. It’s cheaper and better for the ego.
I laughed til I cried the other day. I came out into the backyard where there was a splash pad set up. I thought, “Let’s show everyone how I’m a cool mom!” and I ran out onto the splash pad, intending just to get wet and laugh. Instead, I slipped and totally ate it & my baby was just laughing hysterically. And then I could not stop laughing at the image of me trying to be cool and failing miserably. This is me at 40! I thought I would be a professor by now, or that my business would be making huge profits or that I could at least get more than a 2% raise at work–I thought I would have bought a house and walked down the aisle wearing a trendy Vera Wang I used to cut out of wedding magazines. I thought by 40 I would’ve learned how to cook & developed a cool sense of style that would involve a few expensive basics with some trendy pieces thrown in for good measure. I thought my home would look like a West Elm magazine and less like a bunch of mismatched hand-me-downs. I thought I would be more responsible and less goofy.
But the truth of it is, I have been determined to follow my own path which is always taking me somewhere creative and challenging and authentic. My plans that didn’t come to fruition made way for other plans that brought me right here where I am at 40, laid out flat on my back on a splash pad in Culver City, CA. Thanks for reading, and I will have more athlete-type updates soon (plans for the year, workout gear I’m living in these days, etc).