My son turned twelve on Sunday, though we celebrated it on Saturday.

Next year he’ll turn thirteen, the start of a new age in our house: six years later and we’ll have four teenagers. The thought both excites and saddens me.

I’m not scared though. I don’t buy all that hoopla about the teen years being such a trial and tribulation. Those were the toddler years, in my opinion. I’ll take teenage sass and smarts over unverbal tots any day.

Not that it will be easy, of course. Nothing is.

The main reason I’m sad about the new age dawning is that it’s one more sign that I’m growing old. It’s one thing to talk about getting old when you’re twenty. It’s another thing to experience it, or the twinges of it, when you’re thirty-six. I don’t mind the internal part of getting old, the build up of experiences, the collected wisdom, the accumulated friends and family, but the physical part of getting old? That part scares me.

Is there any way to age gracefully? Does anyone walk into old age willingly, eager to embrace the wrinkles and sagging upper arms and achy joints? Or are humans programmed to fight it, to push against it, to grieve it?

This same time, years previous: buttermilk pancakes


  • ShelahN

    I feel better at 44 than I did 10- 20 years ago. In fact, some days I think I feel better than I ever did.
    So, no, I guess I am not dreading/hating it so far, except for the reading glasses….
    I have no formula or advice that you don't already know. (maybe 'hold the butter' 🙂

  • Mama Pea

    I subscribe to the philosophy that once you stop having interest in things to do, learn and experience you are making the decision to "get old." Keep mobile and active (dance with that belly!), don't let yourself get so heavy you put undue stress and strain on your body (achy joints?), eat healthy and nutritious foods, keep a positive attitude and don't ever, ever, EVER start saying, "I'm too old to do that anymore," or "I have to expect to start slowing down at my age." Your body will be listening and start believing it.

  • Beth Brubaker

    I don't plan on aging gracefully at all! I plan on being a loveable curmugeon, and taking out my false teeth and use them to bite my grandkids on the butt. 😉

    (and yes, I actually have partial dentures already, and I'm 43!)

  • Emily

    O mama, you godwilling have many many years ahead, but i do understand how the knees and wrinkles are different from when we were 24… I became a mom at 42, so I generally just have to keep those worries at bay, keep working out, and be grateful for the rest. I have young parent like you are, and at times I wish I had gotten it together to do the same. Alas, not to be, so being an older mom it is! 🙂

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