I turned forty today. It feels like I’ve been forty for a long time, so although it’s rather a milestone birthday, it doesn’t feel like one.
The main thing about being forty is that I’m a mother now. I had a baby three and a half months ago. I’m not one of those people who think that everyone should have children, or that people cannot really understand life until they have a child, but for me personally, I was a real dead inside piece of shit before I had my daughter, and now I feel joy and sadness and all sorts of things. It’s as if when I went into the hospital, the world was in black-and-white, and I came out and it was in color.
Today, we (my mother, my daughter, and I) went to lunch at a restaurant and sat on the patio because we’re still a little nervous about taking the baby inside places, especially when they are crowded, which this place was because it’s Saturday. It’s boiling hot in Texas and there were fans and misters on the patio. This was the baby’s third time at a restaurant, which also means that it was my third time at a restaurant in about a year and a half. Ordinary things seem new to me twice over — because the world is opening back up a little and I have not done them in so long, and because I am getting to see all of them through my baby’s eyes and everything is a new adventure for her. She wore a navy blue onesie with flowers on it, and we worried that she might be getting too much sun, or that it might be too hot. She has bright red hair, and it’s long enough now that when she’s hot, it gets sweaty and curly in the back and fluffs up into a little ducktail.
I’m typing this in bed, and my daughter is right next to me in her basinet. She was asleep, but she has woken up and is staring at the ceiling fan now, and waving her arms back and forth. Every night I’m just amazed that I have this awesome little person next to me, that I get to end the day with her, and then we wake up and spend another day together.
It’s all so much fun! I hadn’t had fun in years, and now everything is fun. I was so deeply bored and had been for so long, and now everything is interesting.
So, I’m looking forward to my 40s overall.