Forty is an interesting decade.
I only arrived a couple years ago, and it’s still taking me time to remember. On my insides I’m stuck at around thirty six. Forty feels like my mom’s age.
And then I remember that I am someone’s mom. I’m three someone’s moms.
It’s the strangest thing to go to bed late because I’m a grown up and I’m allowed to stay up and watch movies and eat ice cream right out of the container. But then, when I wake up it’s because the alarm goes off and I’m responsible for coaxing three children out of bed and into school uniforms.
I make school lunches. I butter endless slices of white bread with peanut butter for one and jam only for another and the traditional combo for my third.
I pack bags of Doritos and I fret about how I’m not feeding them healthy enough options and even that makes me feel old.
How did I get here?
How did I arrive at this place where I’m supposed to know things, and yet I still feel like an awkward teenager as I try to make an appointment for a lawn service to deliver mulch. It feels strange to give the driver directions to a house that I own.
There are many days I’m still waiting for someone to take care of me. But then I hear the washing machine ping, and I get up to switch the load over to the dryer because if I don’t there won’t be clean baseball uniforms on Saturday and everyone knows that moms don’t forget to have the uniforms ready on game day.
They trust me with their uniforms, these kids. And they trust me with their tiny, broken hearts on sad days and with their big dreams of owning a farm and playing professional football.
I don’t feel prepared.
I don’t feel like all my years between then and now have prepared me for how to properly respond. I’m lost in a grown up’s body without the relevant manual and tomorrow I have to keep being a grown up and where do grown up’s go when they feel as scared as their kids?