33 years, 1 day
For a long time 33 scared me. I know it’s ridiculous, but it seemed old, it made me feel old. 33!
People laughed at me when I told them, but it turns out that lots of my friends have a “magic number” hidden somewhere in their thirties. For more than one it’s 35, but whether it’s 33, 35 or 38, it’s there. Is that normal? Is it normal to get to a point where you don’t feel young anymore, but you don’t exactly feel old either. I know this might sound stupid, but I think the scary thing about turning 33 was the feeling I was stuck between generations – my own and my parents’. Does it even make sense?
My mum was 35 when she had me. Between us are 35 years where others have come and gone, had children, lived lives. But for me there are just two generations: mine, the kid, and my mum’s, the adult. And despite my mum still being 35 years ahead of me, I kept seeing myself as her when I looked at 33: an adult, soon to be mother of two, owner of an apartment and a mortgage. Behind me was all the things kids and young people do – left behind – and I was no longer able to reach back and grab any of it. I guess I felt 33 was me becoming an old fart.
33 was good though. My family came Sunday and we feasted on chevre chaud, gravad lax and the traditional layered birthday cake with raspberries. We drank tea and coffee and the kids – the girl, my nephew and my niece – ran around squealing, laughing, having fun. It was wonderful. And yesterday the girl and J woke me up with presents and kisses and time to start the morning nice and easy which we usually don’t have time for. All through the day people texted, emailed, phoned. They remembered me, congratulated me, they made me feel loved and – old or not – thankful I am surrounded by them.
And so today I am 33 years and one day. The baby is kicking and my due date is a fortnight away. 33 is going to be a good year, I can feel it. It’s going to be so many things 32 wasn’t. It might scare me along the way, but when it does I need to look back and remind myself of how well it started.