A big birthday…

So… I just realized I have exactly one week left in my thirties.  One last little week.

This means, of course, that I’ve actually just finished living my fortieth year. Wow. Forty years seems like a lot.  But the last decade has flown, and it has been, without a doubt, my favorite.

On January 12, it will have been exactly ten years since the day I got hitched. Shortly after that, we moved to Atlanta.  A year later, Mose was born, and then Lew.  Somewhere in there I published my first book, and then another 13. It’s more than I would have dared ask for or expect.

There have been some hard, sad moments. I’m older. I can feel it in my bones, and see it in the mirror.  I have RA and crowns on a few teeth. A few gray hairs. I don’t take exotic trips abroad anymore or close down the bars. But I’m glad to be forty. No part of me is scared of the number.

At the same time, I think back to what I thought of FORTY as a kid, and I’m pretty sure I thought that forty was boring and wrinkly.  I don’t feel boring and wrinkly. Though I wouldn’t object to an exotic trip abroad.

But tonight, for the first time, Mose asked me to help him pick a book to read to himself, and it felt truly momentous.  Like a gift he was giving me.  I’ve spent this decade building books and people, and now the two are coming together, and I don’t know why, but… it’s a big deal to me.  Magical, in fact.  Like I could see the last decade of my life right there in front of my face.

All this to say… whatever happens in this next decade, I feel very very very very  lucky to be living my particular life. It’s good.

Thank you, everyone, for being part of it.  Nobody constructs their own world. It’s made up of tiny bricks from other people. I’m grateful.


5 Responses to “A big birthday…”

  1. Tara Lazar Says:

    Congratulations, happy birthday and welcome to the club. The view is great up here.

  2. Tim Murray Says:

    Seems pretty young to me!!!! Happy birthday, Laurel — good memories of 40 years back!

  3. Julie Falatko Says:

    I was so glad to turn 40 (two years ago). I felt like my 30s were about having kids and sifting all the parts of my life through a giant sieve, and only the important stuff would be left. Not quite, there’s still some detritus, but turning 40 made me clap my hands together and think, “Ok! Here we GO!”

    Also my friends gave me a muu muu as a joke, that we all dress like Mrs. Roper when we turn 40. So that was kind of funny.

    And I’m creaky, and my gray hairs are going rogue, but my brain still thinks it’s 17. I’d rather be a goofy 40-year-old who isn’t afraid to sing loudly and off-key in public and dress like a deranged print-happy preschooler. It’s a surprise, though. I kind of thought I’d be more responsible and grown-up when I was 40. Or at least where nude pantyhose. Glad that turned out not to be true.

  4. Kerry C Says:

    Laurel, I have been reading your blog since you were in your 20s, I guess. I will be 35 this year and have been following along behind you and taking such inspiration from your journey–I remember your wedding, when Mose was born, when you published your first few books. I saw the how motherhood catapulted your creative self, and thought, “Hey, I want to do that too.” I took heart from your success during my own post-grad school days and the sometimes hopelessness of it all. So many of my dreams have come true because there was the precedent of women writers/bloggers/mothers like you. And so I thank you, congratulate you, and wish you a very happy birthday.

  5. jamie Says:

    so sweet miss laurel. so sweet. happy birthday to you!!!!
    i met and became friends with you in your early thirties in NYC
    and i’m so glad we still connect with each other. you are
    amazing and i know the next 10 years will bring even more
    love and exciting happenings to you and yours. SMOOOCH
    from super cold Iowa, we miss you. -jamie

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