Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Amy!

Today is my sister’s 40th birthday. It’s hard for me to tell if she is depressed by the milestone or not. She has mentioned her disgust with the age change a few times, but she doesn’t seem fazed by 40. I guess it takes a few days for the shock to settle in.

I know I have a hard time believing my sister is 40. It just seems too old for her. We still do a lot of the same things we used to do when we were teens—giggle, talk about sexy guys we see at the grocery store, stay up all night playing cards, drink too much, and hangout all day at the beach with the kids. But I just can’t seem to get a handle on one question, “Where has the time gone?”

Amy on vacation
With each passing year, the reality of aging sets in. Amy’s daughter started her freshman year in college in the fall. Amy and her husband are glad to finally have that honeymoon time they didn’t get to get in the beginning, but I can tell the empty nest bothers her sometimes.

I’m not sure what I will do when that day comes for me. I’ve been such a hands-on mom for so long that the idea of having an empty nest seems exciting and painful at the same time. So much time has already passed with my children that it’s hard for me to know “where has the time gone.”

While I’m glad to be rid of diapers, bottles, and sleepless nights, the idea of being rid of karate practice, horse riding lessons, Girl Scouts, and art camp makes me a little sad. The idea of being 40 makes my stomach hurt a little bit. But the knowledge that my sister and I will never be those two giggling girls sitting in the back of my parents van enduring another drawn-out vacation makes me want to cry.

At the beach with Amy
 I’m not ready for us to get old. I’m not ready for my children to get older. I don’t want to come home to a house that isn’t full of giggling children and toys thrown on the floor. I’m not ready to plan my day without taking into consideration if we have doctors’ appointments or PTA night at the school.

I’m proud of my sister for aging gracefully. She raised her daughter on her own on a teacher’s salary and did an amazing job. She found a way to balance motherhood with her career and still make time to create a healthy relationship that turned into a once-in –a-lifetime kind of romance with her husband. She didn’t let herself get bogged down with regrets or missed chances—she has lived each day to its fullest and she probably always will.

I hope that when the hands of time click down to the day my children leave home and begin their new lives that I will be grounded enough in my own world to continue to grow and flourish in this new life I have built for myself. I hope I grow up to be like my sister, because if she can make 40 look great, she’s gonna make 50 look unstoppable.

I love you, Amy.

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