••• Friday, November 19, 2004

A Mother's Greatest Gift?
Mom Math.

My mom's birthday was November 17. She turned 75. Last night she dropped by for a gift exchange and a little visit. She also had a thing or two to say about how she was sure there was a surprise party brewing for her. In fact, she brought it up at least three times. The exact same number of times that I ignored it and three times the exact number of birthday parties I've had in my entire life. ::I was in 4th grade. We had hotdogs. No boys allowed. No presents,either. At mom's insistence. Janet Falbe brought me a slinky anyway, but I felt kind of cheesy accepting it. But I digress.::

Anyway. For my mom's visit, I'm wearing the yoga pants and zip hoodie that my son gave me for my birthday. To set the record straight, I did ask for these items, but wasn't exactly envisioning a matched set, which ends up looking exactly like a sweat suit, which is exactly not the look I was going for.

I say to my mom "Look, I have a sweat suit ensemble. I'm officially middle-aged." She laughed. Then the following exchange ensued, starting with my mom:

So, how old are you?


You're 45, right?


Yes you are.

Try 47.

You're not 47.

Mom, I think I know how old I am.

She's suddenly quiet and I can see that she's firing up her internal age/time/social differential age calculator, a special tool inherent to most mothers. In case you are unfamiliar, this special machine calculates a person's age using a unique combination of historical,social and familial variables.

For example, in response to the question "How old is Jayme?" (my younger sis) it would go something like this: "Let's see. I was pregnant for Jayme when your dad accidentally blew up Uncle Poot's moonshine still. And that was when Uncle Poot's three-legged dog still had all three legs, so would have to be just before Aunt Lydia got married because it was at the outdoor reception that Uncle Poot's dog..well..you know what happened...which was the same year John Kennedy was elected president, which makes Jayme, Hmmmm, 44."

Back to the story. As suddenly as it came on, the special look of calculation vanishes, with no apparent outcome.

What year were you born?


::pause:: Oh my gosh, you really are 47! So that means you were were almost 44 when Ana was born? Wow.

44? Wait a minute...

I then notice an unfamiliar sound in my head. A whirling, rushing age/time/social-differential-age-calculator-firing-up sound. Before I could stop myself I hear me say, "Okay. When I was pregnant for Ana, Cam was in the 8th grade, which was the same year that we sold the house on Tenway, just in time to buy this house, which we moved into in August, one month after Cheddar pulled his cruciate ligament and one month before 9-11, which caused the bottom to fall out of the real estate market, which means we were really lucky to have gotten this place, which was the year 2001, the year Ana was born, which makes me...hmmmm...46!"

I'm only 46. Not 47. I'm sorry I lied. Well, I didn't lie, exactly. I'm sorry I'm an idiot.

And I know exactly how this happened. I did the same think with birthdays 36 and 37. Somewhere around August, I started thinking "I'm going to be 46." Somewhere around October it morphed to "I am 46. I will be 47."

I hereby declare myself the most joyous-newly-turned-46-year-old-woman in the state of Michigan.

Ain't it funny how time slips away?

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