Friday, July 15, 2011


Tomorrow is my thirty-first birthday.

It's an odd birthday... thirty-one.  An odd number... extremely odd, actually, as far as numbers go.

I don't feel quite like I'm finished with thirty. 

This year I stopped buzzing my hair and opted for a slightly more traditional haircut (at least so much that I am no longer referred to as "sir" at the drive-thru pharmacy window).  Butterfly was offered a spot in a one-act competition in New York City.  My kids learned to swim.  I stopped sending my son to school.  I lost weight.  I gained it back.  I reflected on my younger years and put away most of the past.  Things were forgiven, cherished, tucked away.  The present moment became clear, though still evanescent. 

Time sped up. 

I felt lonely.  I felt full.  I trodded through a serious faith crisis and came out stronger on the other side.  I discussed God with my atheist friends and my Jewish friends and my agnostic friends and we came out on the other side still loving one another and still all very much swimming in various shades of shallow water when it comes to our faith.

I watched my daughter bloom - her personality revealed to the world in flutters and shades and splashes of light and color. 

My son got dreadlocks.  He embraced himself as a person.  He is learning to trust.

Thirty was a year of learning.  Of giving.  Growing and falling and turning over and parting ways and holding hands and holding on. 

I will miss thirty. 

It is a year that feels full of promise.  Great things coming.

A year that science says marks the full maturity of the brain and body together in one perfect, rhythmic unison.

I look in the mirror and see lines on my forehead. 

I don't want the forehead lines.  I was hoping for crow's feet.

I look at people's crow's feet and I think about how much they must have smiled in their lives and how beautiful and wise it makes them. 

I look at me with my forehead wrinkles and think I frown and squint entirely too much. 

I've tried to remedy this. 

I still have acne like I did at age fifteen. 

I still feel like I'm nineteen.  And fourteen.  And exactly the age that I am.  And sometimes older.

I suppose this is the experience of most people.

I remember as a kid, grown-ups would always ask me, "Do you feel any older?" 

I always hated that question.  I never knew what to say.

I always just felt like me. 

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