I know I said I was going to write more PPD-type stuff, but I am feeling like taking a break from that: I can only immerse myself in it for so long, you know? I'll get back to it, but not right now. In the meantime, thanks for the comments, which are always so encouraging in making me feel like I am not alone in my wierdness. You're all wierd with me! Or wait, that didn't come out quite right...never mind. You get the picture.
Wow, how was THAT for a substance-free paragraph? Let's try something else, like I am going to be forty on Saturday. Yes. You heard me. On June 9th. Forty.
I think I'm supposed to rend my garments and beat my breast at this point, but since I like my leopard-print PJ's and anyway have no breasts to speak of, I'll give the lamentations a miss. Because actually, I am delighted to be turning over a new decade. I feel more like myself the older I get (which means, I suppose, that I was born middle-aged), and I like the feeling that I've paid some dues and now get to take up space in the world without apologizing as constantly as I felt I needed to in my twenties. I like that I have finished graduate school (or schools, as the case may be) and worked for long enough to feel confident in my career. I like--I love--that I have two children and a husband whom I adore. I love that I can write about something besides what Frank Conroy termed, "the emergency of YOU." I love having a fresh start in a new town, a new house, a house where I want to stay (with frequent sojourns abroad!) forever. I love that I start this decade close to my parents and my brother. I love that I take Lexapro every night and wake up in the morning NOT feeling as though just getting out of bed is going to reduce me to irritable tears and despair. In short, I am grateful for this birthday and the life surrounding it.
Not that I love everything and everybody, don't get me wrong. I am Scroogey as ever. My skin is dry, there's a strange sausage of fat developing around my mouth, as it does around everyone in my family's mouths at forty, and my hair is no-color mixed with gray (OK, my real hair is that. My visible hair is platinum, and I still love that, embarrassingly much). My neck has gone all Nora Ephron on me. I have age spots on my hands, cellulite on my ass, and crepey, post-child-having skin around my belly button. My back aches, small boys tire me, my arches are falling, my teeth are chipping, and I have to get mammograms. And let's just not get into the ageing, post-childbirth bladder.
Also, I am sad, the way everyone in middle life is sad, because sad things have happened, and even the joyful things, like healthy children, are shot through with, at best, the poignancy of impermanence. I have now lived long enough that my emotions are adulterated: joy carries sadness within it, and sadness carries a kernel of joy. The intensity and purity of my twenty-year-old emotions has changed--not dwindled, but mellowed and mixed and deepened. My heart belongs to lots of people besides just me; when I grocery shop, I buy toothpaste and toilet paper for a whole family. I am not wise, but I am beginning to be experienced in certain things (like, oh, how to keep the cats tick-free; not, sadly, in child-raising or getting books published). I have more gravitas than I had in my twenties, and at the same time I am more buoyant. Which makes me what, a fat swim float? Now there's a mental image to treasure on my birthday.
There's another image I do treasure, however, and that's the image of three children in our family instead of two. No, I am not pregnant. Yes, TTD went and got himself fixed last year. But we have started the (long, slow) process of trying to adopt a child--a girl, we hope--from Ethiopia.
I thought for a while about whether I wanted to blog about this, and decided that yes, I do. I want to write about the whole journey, however it ends up and however long it takes, because as I said in an earlier post, I want this blog to be as real a picture as I can make it of my life at any given moment. I think in my next post I'll write more about how we came to this decision and what the road ahead may entail, but for now, suffice it to say, we hope that in a year or eighteen months or so, the boys will have a little sister from Africa.
And one more thing. This blog has been languishing of late, but I have a few new-decade resolutions and one of them is to post every day for the next month, and two or three times a week after that. So starting on Saturday, brace yourself for an avalanche of minutiae and verbiage. I mean, can you THINK of anything more celebratory?
I can. I'm going out dancing with my family and TTD on Saturday night, and I have a rockin' new flowered dress and very sexy platforms, and I plan to drink champagne. Happy Birthday to me!