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Turning 30 - Livin' the Good Life

Mar. 29th, 2008

12:34 am - Turning 30

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Damian asked me tonight what it was like for me when I turned 30. I had to admit that, initially, I was a bit depressed. For some reason, I had the notion that age 30 meant "all grown up", and I didn't like the sound of that. Damian thought it was pretty funny that I would not feel grown up when I had 3 children. It doesn't make sense, I know. But, thinking about it some more, (yes, I have insomnia tonight because Maya made a delicious chocolate cake for Damian's birthday which we ate at 8 PM, and here I am at midnight wide, wide awake!) I know exactly why I didn't feel like a grown-up at age 30. Having children, for me was not a grown-up activity. Being surrounded by children actually helped me to remain a child. Sure, I was responsible to take care of them, but I had always had a caretaking personality as a kid. I just naturally took on the role of looking after my friends, who, no surprise, were all younger than me. My main, and most enjoyable, job as a parent was to PLAY with my kids. A lot of mothers I knew did not play with their children. They actually found kid-play to be boring, and they complained that they didn't have enough adult conversations in their lives. They felt like they had to "dumb themselves down" to interact with kids all day. And that was one of the main reasons they eventually went to work... so they could spend time with other adults. On the other hand, I found children to be extremely entertaining. They were smart and inquisitive. They said hilarious things all day long, so I got to laugh alot. They were always emotionally available, with ready affection. They challenged me with endless questions. They caused me to grow and expand in my ability to respond to every imaginable scenerio. They taught me how to be patient. They taught me how to keep on giving when I thought I was spent. They taught me how to consider someone else's welfare before my own. And they allowed me to PLAY for 20 years longer than I would have had I not had children. What a luxury that was! How self-indulgent I felt! And, as I said, they were entertaining. I was fascinated by them! By in large, I found their company more interesting than a room full of adults. So maybe that just made me a big kid living in Never-Neverland. I'm OK with that, because I was a happy camper as a parent, and I felt deliciously fulfilled as a mother and wife. And I learned that being 30 didn't mean that I had turned a corner and couldn't enjoy life any more. Far from it. It just kept getting better.