This past weekend I reached the ripe old age of thirty nine. In the car on the way home from school, Geekygirl was asking me how old I was, and I told her that I was thirty eight, soon to be thirty nine.
"One day I will be thirty eight. Then I will be a grown up" Geekygirl informed me.
"Then there will be three grown ups in the house and one baby. Me, You and Daddy will be grown ups, and Geekyboy will be a baby"
"Well" I explained "Actually when you are thirty eight your brother will be thirty six, and you will probably both live in your own houses by then"
"Oh" She replied, then the conversation ceased. She piped back up a few moments later. "Mummy, can you stop me?"
"Stop you sweetie?" I enquired, puzzled.
"When I get to thirty eight. Will you stop me, so I stay thirty eight?"
I found it poignant that she is aware already that birthdays, those most wonderful much anticipated days at three, four, five, six and beyond, may at some point become not such a good thing.
Not that I want to stop time, I'm quite OK with being thirty nine, though it sounds odd, a person much older than I feel. I remember an episode of "Friends", I think the one where Rachel turns 30, where she realizes that if she wants to have kids before she turns thirty five with a man that she marries after dating him for a couple of years, then she needs to meet that guy RIGHT NOW". Birthdays bring on a little introspection in me, and I feel so grateful that I have Geekydaddy and the kids, that I squeezed them in after my extended carefree youth. I feel that I got to have my cake and eat it too, life wise.
Thirty nine rolled around as predicted. I had a long planned (by Geekydaddy) evening out to look forward to. My good friends were all available, Italian restaurant booked, with the intention of hitting my favourite gay piano bar afterwards, I had new pair of shoes that made me feel young and hip to wear, and freshly manicured nails. The babysitter had long been lined up. Then, the day before, I got an email from her telling me that her boyfriend had being diagnosed with H1N1 flu. She was OK, but was potentially incubating it. What to do? Of course, no sensible mother would invite a potential swine flu infected babysitter into their home. But it was my birthday and I was so looking forward to this night. Dejected, I considered my options.
I imagined the headlines "Selfish mother has critically ill kids removed from her custody after knowingly leaving them with sick babysitter", and hit up my parent group contacts. I struck gold, and found a lovely woman who the kids adored on sight, and we had our grown up night out, old and new friends, great conversation, and boat like cocktails swilled down while watching flamboyant young men pounding out Bonnie Tyler ballads while draped across a copper topped piano.
And I even managed to feel well enough the next day to take Geekygirl to ballet. Now that is a sign of maturity!