Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Closer to Death Day to Me

Cutting vegetables, gripping the steering wheel, or turning the pages of a book, I have recently been more frequently startled at the realization that I have my mother's hands..the hands that belong to this wise woman who was mature enough  to rise before the crow of the rooster and do a day's worth of work and study before she always so cheerfully woke her 8 children (she had 8 of her 10 children when she was my age).  I haven't earned these hands.  I am still one of the children that needs to be shaken awake.  Every year I wonder if this is the year that I am going to become an adult.  There is a significance to turning 37.  I have now tipped the scales.  I have officially been an independent adult longer than I was a dependent child.  Why does this produce in me such a lurching tumult of nausea?

1.  I am closer to death
2.  I am losing value as a woman in society
3.  I need to act my age

Corey chose this cake well.  Fudge brownie foundation followed by layers of dark, milk, and white chocolate mousse.  I hope I never get mature enough to not over-indulge in such goodness.
My sweet neighbor brought these gifts over in the morning.  My grandparents had the same hummingbird feeder.  If I can age as gracefully as they did, I will refrain from complaint.
Kathryn brought me flowers and Joal and Elizabeth (sis and bro in law) drove all the way from Pullman to watch the kids so that Corey and I could go on a bike ride together.  

Emmy woke before I did (she always does), crafted this adorable card, slipped into my room unnoticed, and placed it on my nightstand. I have a feeling that Emmy will earn her aging hands.

Corey made sure that a few musical geniuses made appearances at my party (in CD form, of course)  Andrew Bird (above), Neko Case, and Matthew Ward recently came out with albums that I highly recommend.
Ansel is pointing out the fine details of his artistic gift.  He is also thrilled that I received a pack of Pokemon cards that he is sure I will share with him.  A fine example of how I am 37 going on 
Savanna also took a few moments to create my own personal forest.
Hallelujah!  I have been achingly pining for a kayak for the past 4 years.  I love her already. Anything to keep me from my responsibilities.
We decided to make an afternoon of it.  Corey took the kids biking while I paddled around the nearest lake (exactly 10 miles from our driveway)
Ahhh.  I could die right now a happy woman


marymary said...

When I was younger, I always believed I would embrace every well-earned wrinkle in my old age. But I was naively picturing myself wrinkled at 70 or 80 -- not at 36. It's harder than I thought it would be to accept them gracefully, but I'll still try to make a go of it, even though I don't feel like I've in any way "earned" them yet.

I wish you a summer full of kayak trips. It kills me that our canoe has sat untouched for two summers now. Not this year!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to tell you that the wrinkles just come!! Nothing you can do to escalate or delay their arrival. And they keep coming and coming.

melissa said...

Oh, Vanessa.... you will never grow old. I am also waiting for the feeling of being an adult. I am starting to wonder if I will ever be capable of it.
Looks like your life has been full lately. I am so happy for you. I love how you are always talking in the Vanessa voice. It is a delight to hear!

Kaerlig said...

Reading the first bit of this post, I could feel my own tension mount at the reality of aging. I had to look up apoplectic in my dictionary and that didn't help the tension.

I've been helping out this 89 year old lady down the street with her eye drops. Yesterday I was looking at her saggy face and I tried to see what she used to look like and I had a horrifying realization that if I live long enough, those sags would be on me.

The part about putting a dagger in it let the tension roll away a bit. There is too much to be grateful for and too much to do to let wrinkles get in the way.

I bet only you can see yours anyway.

EJ said...
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EJ said...

You are the most beautiful woman I know. I feel honored to call you my sister-in-law, and only wish to have the wisdom and love of all things natural as you do. When I read your posts they encourage and enlighten me to be a better me and mommy. Thank you for not growing up and for seeing beauty and good in all things. You are my hero.

Lucy said...

Happy Birthday, Vanessa! You may be getting closer to death, but you are also getting pretty darn wise and poetic too. Of course, you've always been that way since I've known you, so I can't really attribute it to aging, but I loved your bit on recognizing your mothers hands. You should rework that part, maybe lengthen it (maybe not) and submit it to something. It's beautiful.

I'm glad you were so adulated. You deserve every bit of it.