In a couple of weeks I’ll have a phone call from mum telling me the story of the day I was born. I get it every year… Does your mum do (or has she done) that?
It goes something like this:
‘The creeks were up, as your Nana drove me across to Booleroo to the hospital. Dad was coming home from Adelaide in the truck.’ Pause. ‘It was the wettest year we’d had in ages.’
I usually nod sagely and refrain from saying: ‘I know mum, you’ve told me every year since I can remember.’ Then she adds: ‘Oh, but I’ve told you this, haven’t I?’
Uh huh! I like the story though. It’s part of who I am. I imagine my Nana Parnell hurtling my across dirt roads in the old Valiant (which maybe wasn’t old when I was born!), it splashing through creek crossings and the gum trees with rain drops dripping onto the ground. Puddles and wet ground.
I imagine them ripping up to the door of the hospital and someone helping mum out. Now I’m not sure when Dad arrived, but I know it was ‘in time’, which is no mean feat, because I was born three hours of mum going into labor. Three hours! (Anyone who tells you labor length is hereditary, well, it’s nothing but lies. My first labor lasted thirty six hours, but that’s a tale for another day!)
Can’t say I ever thought about being forty. When The Boss had his big birthday, it sort of came and went, without any fan-fair. It didn’t create any mid-life crises, that I know about, and he got on with the day as per normal.
I have to say I can’t wait to turn forty. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it doesn’t scare me or worry me the way I have heard it does to others.
My outlook is this: I’ve seen too many friends and family die through accidents or illness for an age to bother me. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to turn forty, still be enjoying my kids and be happy. I’m planning on approaching every birthday in the future this way.
There won’t be a big party either; we’ll have a quiet dinner with a few friends and I’m hoping to take wake up without a hangover. That may or may not happen!
You know, that’s not to say I don’t occasionally wonder how many years I have left – is that something you do? But it’s not something I dwell on.
I’m really keen to know how you feel about ‘big’ birthdays. Can you tell me in the comments below?