Today I got confirmation I am not as young as I used to be—I picked up my new reading glasses. For years I’ve teased my husband about my perfect vision--20/10 or 20/15 or some other such great number. I figured one day I may have to succumb and recently I realized I was moving my phone further away from me to read what was on the screen. Gasp! Could it be? I’m not THAT old!
A friend, safely ensconced in her mid-30s reminded me after 40 our eyes start to lose some of that focus we love. Gulp. I’m in my 40s—just barely, but I have passed that milestone. So off to the eye doctor I went and he confirmed that “people in their forties” start to see some decline in how good the muscles in their eyes work. Dude, you don’t have to keep reminding me!
But as I put them on today and sat down to read, two things happened. One, I realized things really are clearer with them. This is nice. While the prescription is slight, I will have an easier time reading and threading a needle when I sew. Two, I realized I am not ashamed of my age.
Growing up I had a grandmother who was terrified of getting old. Seriously I am not exaggerating. The day I was born she declared, “This child will never call me grandma. She can call me Nana.” When I turned 13 and was taller than her, she wanted me to use her first name in public so people wouldn’t know. She colored her hair for years, often colors not flattering to her, in an attempt to hide her age. She wore clothes more suited to a teenager and far too much make up. The sad thing was that because she had been a teenage mom and my own mom had had me at 21, this meant she really was a young grandma. She could have rocked it.
Today, before getting my new glasses, I dropped off my five year old at school and realized she was suddenly looking sad. I had made a terrible mistake by listening to the new Fray song, “Love Don’t Die.” I like the song. But in her little mind, it made her remember that one of her loves, her daddy, had indeed died. Her day now was covered with the cold reminder of grief and all I could do was offer a kiss and prayer as I sent her off to school.
I used to joke I was not afraid of growing older ‘cause it was better than the alternative. Not so funny now.
Now I’m going to embrace my age because it means I am still here. I am still here for my kids, for my friends and family, and to serve my God with all the life He’s blessed me with. I have been blessed with 41 years on this earth, 42 in June. In that time I’ve done so much and been blessed with amazing children. I will celebrate each year I get to be here with them and for them.
So bring on the pretty purple reading glasses. They will make me smile thinking of how hard Kraig would have laughed that finally I needed them. They are a reminder I’m still alive and every day I get to say that is an amazing gift.