Today, my daughter, the first of my two kids, turned 10, and I noticed her feet now look like big kid feet. I don’t even know when that happened. They were petite little puppy paws like two weeks ago. Also, today, I realized that your hands start feeling the cold when you hit 39. This is the first time in my life that 40-degree weather has registered as cold or bothered me in any way. What gives? I woke up today, and now my babies are big kids, and I am old.
So what, do I have to start wearing coats with sleeves now like all the other grown-ups instead of cute puffer vests to keep myself warm? Now, I have to keep track of two matching gloves in a pair. No more carefree vest girl swagger?
I mean, shit. So much for the spontaneity of youth. My kids — like all children, apparently — cannot accept any reasonable suggestion to wear coats. But that’s always been fine with me because I also wasn’t cold. What will they say now, “We have to wear coats now because our mom turned 39, and now she’s not cool anymore; she’s just cold?”
Is someone going to confiscate my snowboard now because I’m over the hill? Homer to Jebus, even my puns are going bad.
And it’s between me and God how many mutant hairs I pulled from my chin before work this morning. It’s like each of the last ones I removed left quintuplets gestating in there only to be birthed as commercial-grade wire leaders for fishing. (Hot tip: keep a car tweezer. The morning light in that mirror is cruel but truly the only way to see every one of those little bastards.)
I don’t even have dark hair. In fact, my once reddish hair appears to be losing what pigment it does have by the day.
“Sara, you’re so blonde these days!” That’s not blonde. My hair is old as shmuck.
Last weekend, my kids were watching this (actually cute) series about three friends who cook magical recipes (“Just Add Magic”) and musing about what recipes they’d create. My little guy came up with “Walk Back in Time Waffles.” When you eat them, you revert to a more youthful version of yourself, but without actually changing time or age.
Great concept, kid — kind of like what my face would be like now if I’d started Botox at 28 instead of 38. I wish someone had told me then. So I’m telling you now.
“Mama, if you ate Walk Back in Time Waffles, you could be yourself from TEN YEARS AGO! Like when you used to be able to run.”
Now what the actual fuck. Now I have cold hands and a beard and I can’t run? I had no idea that when I sprint out the front door after a canine escapee, my children see a person who can’t run. Yes, I have taken up golf and fishing, two sports that require virtually no physical exertion. But don’t they know I used to be an athlete? My softball glove was like a vacuum for anything in the infield, even for the handful of years I played after law school. How odd for my kids to think of their mother as someone who used to be able to run. Probably just them, though. Right?
But all of a sudden, my right knee clicks when it’s humid, and my left wrist hurts when I try to scratch my back. Come to think of it, none of my 30s felt like “late” 30s until right now.
And, right on cue, I have been flooded with “Millennial mom” reels and videos of “going out in the 2000s” and feel SO seen. But here’s the thing: All of us cute young moms laughing (or worse, DANCING) along, relating to the footage of other cute young moms belting out gangsta rap as they work or do mom things? The joke’s on us. We’re not cute young moms anymore. We are Debbie in Knocked Up and the bouncer can’t let us in because we are “old as fuck.” God. At least in the movie, she was just too old, “you know, for this club, not for the Earth.”
Did you know Wu-Tang, the Fugees, and Kylie Minogue are on the oldies station now? When I put on some classic hip-hop in the car, my kids act like it’s Frankie Valli or the BeeGees. Ugh, I still like the BeeGees.
When I started wearing fuck-you-flats to work a few years ago, instead of 3-inch heels, it was largely on principle. I prefer to model other ways to dress up smart brains for the up-and-coming women behind me. But at this point, I don’t think I even could haul my ass downtown for testimony and last the whole day in stilettos. I’m scared to try.
And I know, I know. These are all absolutely first-world problems. There are far more important things to worry about happening around us every day — especially as parents — world conflicts, political conundrums, and the list goes on and on. But I still think there is value in pausing together, to express our unified and collective disgust at the aging process. Fuck this shit. Put Dr. Dre back on.
Sara RF is a lawyer mom who enjoys talking about breastfeeding at work. Find her on Facebook and Instagram @MamasaidF.