When your kids start calling Ice Ice Baby and Can't Touch This "oldies" in casual dinner conversation, you've officially become your own mom and dad. When you start saying, "when I was your age..." and catch yourself, cupping your mouth in shock, then yeah... life it is a'changing.
When your eldest son says, "Hey mom, they measured my height yesterday at school. I'm 5'4" now... officially taller than you. Also, I weigh 105." Ugh. First of all, thanks for reminding me of how short I am, when, secretly in my own mind, I'm a super model. Second of all, now my weight doesn't feel so amazing. Third of all, when did I get to the age where I have a son that is taller than me? For real, though. HOW AM I ALMOST 40?
I hear people say that they're pumped for 40, ready to turn 40, excited to step into 40, but this woman is just seeing more wrinkles (collagen, where did you go??) and lumps. And what ever happened to my metabolism, and my thick, silky hair? What. The. Heck. In case you're wondering, I'm just waiting for small lips to come back in, too. I'll be sooo on trend. And why do I cry all the time... correction, more than I already did? Whhhhhaaaaat is happening to me????
I'm turning 40. Yes, 40. Let that sink in, Andi.
Some of you are older than me and want me to just shut up. Others of you are like, "what? Lumps? Loss of hair? Slower metabolism? Ahhhhh! I. can't. even."
CALM DOWN. It's all going to be okay. Or at least, that's what I hope I'll be letting you know on September 4th, when I step out of my 30's and into my 40's. (Yes, I'm accepting gifts.) Also, I share a birthday with Beyonce, so that's something.
I find myself wrestling with these thoughts often, "Since when did age become something to avoid?" "When did we stop embracing the beauty of grey hair, lumps, wrinkles, a life lived with experience and wisdom?" "When did looking like I'm forever 21 become the goal?" "Why can't we all just age well?" Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we're eternal beings that still can't cope with some of the effects of the Fall in the Garden. Maybe it's comparison. Maybe it's vanity. Maybe we just like beauty products (yes, I see you). Maybe we're locked into a moment where we felt the most beautiful and want to get back there somehow...
This is my BEAUTIFUL mom. This is her real grey hair; the hair that young people now spend crazy amounts of money to have. but hers is all natural. It's all her. Those wrinkles, sans botox; those laugh lines, sans fillers; all earned, all hers. Every. Single. One. She's beautiful. She's a tad emotional (I get it from my Momma). She's a little crazy and totally creative - a hippie to rival all hippies (you should try her homemade kombucha) - and she's aging beautifully, inside and out. And as I teeter towards 40, I thank God that she's my mom. When I start freaking out about aging, I just look at her. She's paving a way for me and so many others.
A couple of months ago, my 5-year-old Sammy pointed out the wrinkles around my mouth and asked me, "what are those?" to which I replied, "Laugh lines! Those are earned over time, buddy. You have to laugh a lot and then you'll get your own." Deep in thought, he smiled and nodded, thinking that was quite possibly the coolest thing ever.
Look, you do you. Botox, fillers, all the things... whatever floats your boat. I just pray that we as woman can age beautifully from the inside out. That we can be at peace with who we are, and that we find a way to genuinely love who our Creator has made us to be. Truth be told, I've shocked myself over this last year with all these conflicting feelings and fears of hitting a certain age. For the most part, I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin, but in the times I'm not, I cry it out in my Father's lap. I let Him remind me how amazing I am, and then I get back up, dust myself off, and keep going.
My conclusion? This short lady (who is a super model in her own mind) is going to keep walking her way down the runway of life with a little less hair, a tad slower metabolism, a few more tears than usual, and laugh lines, to boot, and she's going to be just fine. 40, I'm coming for you like a dance battle.
Because, DANCE BATTLES.