17 January 2014

greeting old

okay, just to be clear. i am not old. i don't feel old (despite what the body test i just took at the y.m.c.a. says). my friends say i don't look old. but a few days ago i turned 43. and found myself buying a pair of reading glasses-after the eye doctor gave me that knowing look when i kept holding the reading card away from eyes at my last check up.

but hey, it's all cool. getting older has never been a fear or a dread of mine. it happens, it's inevitable. why hate the passing of time? i don't understand how that's helpful. getting older for me has always meant one thing: one breath closer to meeting jesus. and seriously, that way overshadows wrinkles and achey knees. but seeing how nobody i know finds talking of death hopeful, i keep those notions to myself. 

so a couple of days ago, it was my birthday. it's been a long standing tradition in our household for the Mister to take the day off on this family holiday. this year was no exception. we sent the two older boys off to school and snuggled in with the youngers. they had planned breakfast and took me to a local spot that is often so bustling you can't find a table, but as providence would see (and the fact it was a wednesday), we managed to find ample seating for our dwindled bunch of 4.

the 10 year old brought his wallet and was set on contributing. he wanted to buy me SOMETHING anything. a new flask? no honey, mommy already has one. a small pot of jam, perhaps? no, thanks. i kept telling him there was nothing i wanted. but knowing that it was important for him to buy me something with his money, i told him i would let him know when i saw the perfect gift.

after we were stuffed and over caffeinated, the Mister took the two youngers home to school them whilst i got lost for the day. i took my traditional walk around radnor lake (the only time i typically do this alone), and perused a thrift store where i found the yummiest pendleton blanket for chicken scratch. and of course procured those darling reading glasses. 

after a day of decadently doing whatever i wished, i met up with the boys for indian food and a movie. after the show, we were walking out when the 10 year said, "mom, i didn't get you anything for your birthday-from me." about that time, the 7 year old noticed the photo booth that sits in the corner of this crowded theatre. "hey, i have an idea. for my birthday present, will you pay for a session in the photo booth?" and we bum rushed the booth and packed in like sardines. the 14 year old looked on with mild amusement, but no thank you he did not wish to participate. the 7 year old cried, "but i am so little i won't be visible!" i comforted him, "you can sit on my lap." the 10 year old pulled out his wallet and 3 crisp dollar bills to feed the machine. it was all ridiculously hilarious and fun. deeply satisfying sincerely fun. when was the last time you felt that? 

and when the slot spit out our strip of hilarity, i thanked the 10 year old for my favorite gift. a memory of our sweet time of being silly after a full day of ridiculous reminders of how loved and celebrated i am. and every year that passes, that is one more year for me to be reminded of all the joy and profound goodness around me that blankets me and mine through the likes of friends and community that is better than any earthly riches. i decided that greeting old is better than getting old. greeting is warmer and more intentional. so for this year, that's what i'll think on as i laugh-especially every time i pass the refrigerator where this strip of photographic evidence of time well spent is stuck.

and as you can see, the 7 year old managed to find his place in front of the camera. poor thing.

here's to keeping perspective, people. aging is inevitable-if we're lucky. 

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