Proceed With No Caution

Forty five is weird, yo.

I’m working really hard on embracing getting older. On accepting myself, just exactly as I am.

Ever have one of those days when you look at yourself in the mirror, and I mean you really look…you sit up on the bathroom vanity, with your feet in the sink,  you lean in a little closer, pull at your skin, examine each eyebrow, your teeth, each new line, every sun kissed freckle, scrunch your face, unscrunch your face…
And then you spot a hair.
A grey hair.
No big deal, right?
I’ve actually stopped dyeing my hair, and I’m all kinds of good with a few sprigs of grey on my head. But this bad boy is sprouting from what was once an adorable Cindy Crawford-esque mole on my cheek!
Yes, it’s a mole hair. And it’s about an inch long.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER!
How in the name of all things holy did I not notice that mother effer before? Every day I stand in front of this huge bathroom mirror to do my hair, brush my teeth, put on my eyebrows, moisturize my eyes, face, neck (because forty five, bitches, forty five). Did it just appear overnight? What kind of evil sorcery is that? I initially hoped it was unattached, perhaps actually belonging to the dog. Possibly stuck to my face with last night’s French Mint Laura Secord chocolate bar remnants. Surely, I could just flick it away.
But, no.
What the actual f*ck?
It brought back a memory of the time I was pregnant with my oldest child; I couldn’t see the bottom of my belly anymore, and the (ex)husband panic whisper-yelled to me after my doctor finished her exam: *Cough, cough* “You have a BIG DARK HAIR GROWING ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BELLY!” He was horrified. At the time I thought, jeez man, couldn’t you just ignore it? Maybe discreetly yank it out while lovingly caressing my ginormous belly, which houses YOUR CHILD, and an obscene number of Hershey’s Chocolate Hugs? Tell me I have never looked so glowingly beautiful, even with a new gross hair, and my belly button freakishly sticking out (it went back in, don’t worry). I am very busy and important, growing your child up in here, doncha know? I don’t have time to worry about the underside of my belly! Pffft.
But, now, to the ex husband I say, thank you. Thank you for telling me. Because who knows how long I have been walking around thinking that I was the bees knees, with my grey mole hair, just hanging off my cheek, flapping in the wind. And no one said, “hey, Moley H. McMoleyton, you better check yourself. And what really gets me is that I didn’t see it! I’m like those men with spidery leg nose hairs peeking out from their nostrils. The ones they seem completely oblivious to (okay, that gave me the heebie jeebies just typing it). I’m now sorry for judging you, fellas. I will still completely judge you, but with much more empathy. Because, now I know, hair happens.
I’ve actually been working really hard on embracing getting older. On accepting myself, just exactly as I am. With the exception of facial hair, that is. That bastard is long gone. But the rest. I’ll take it. The grey hair (on my head). My not twenty five year old boobs. Stretch marks on my hips from growing two perfect babies. The paunch above my c-section scar. All the new wrinkles. Yes, please. They’re from a life lived full of laughter, after all. And I’ve even come to accept the fact that my underwear keep sliding down inside my jeans. Because perhaps I’ve laughed my ass right off. Or my ass has morphed to a front bum and explains the paunch? I’m unsure if this is actually related to being in my mid forties, but it’s a new development, and I am blaming it on aging. Or poor underwear manufacturing.
Forty five is a little weird, yo.
Thankfully though, most days, I feel younger than I am. I’ve finally reached that stage where I’m more content in my own skin. Every scar, every stretch mark, every wrinkle, everything that is this vessel that I’m lucky enough to exist in, it tells a story. And each year that passes is a chance to add more to that story. To deepen the lines around my mouth from smiling, because I’m lucky to have the life that I do. And I’m hopeful that the best is yet to come. I’m hanging my hat on it.
Or on my mole hair.
“Aging is an incredible process, where you become the person you always should have been” – David Bowie

Take a nice long soak in my bath water

Today marks eight years since I’ve had my mother to talk to, and I so wish I could ask her what she remembers about the days when Barbie and I took a dip in her bath water…

 When I was a little girl, I remember getting into my mother’s bath water AFTER she bathed. I would play with my Barbies while she got ready to leave for work as a bartender, our face cloths laid out on the sides of the tub as beach towels, and the tub the Barbie’s ocean; I can still smell the Ivory soap and her Patchouli perfume, and remember how I longed for my cheeks to be bronzed and glowing like hers. Yes, she “highlighted” long before all the YouTube beauty gurus taught us how.

 As I got older, I realized I was basically bathing in the filth she washed off her own body, but at the time, it was perfection.

And then last night, I was soaking in my bathtub covered in bubbles, reading my wet puffed out book, and my daughter popped in to tell me three random riddles, because a peaceful bath is non-existent with children, and I am totally okay with that. After a far too lengthy discussion about why I cover my boobs with a cloth, and how she is not impressed with inheriting my nipples, she asked to get in my water, after I got out. At first I thought…oh Hells naw. I’ll run you a new bath. And then I thought…hmmm…my damn water bill has been outrageous, and it never killed me when I was little…so yes,  my sweet girl, you can hop on into my dirty bath water.

While she bathed – which included a full 360 naked spin with legs in the air – we talked about make up, and skin care, she told me funny stories about her friends at school (who are pure awesome), she razzed me about my dating track record, and she asked me to put her hair into braids for curls the next day –  and I wondered what my mother and I talked about when I was exactly my daughter’s age, taking a nice long soak in her bath water.

Today marks eight years since I’ve had my mother to talk to, and I so wish I could ask her what she remembers about the days when Barbie and I took a dip in her bath water. I cherish that time that I got to spend with her, just the two of us in the bathroom. My kids almost always come in the bathroom with me when I’m getting ready for work, or getting ready for anything really. My daughter swiping on my lip gloss, telling me my brows look super fly. My son complaining about how the hair spray makes him unable to breathe, and usually playing basketball in there at the same time. It’s not a very large bathroom and some days it drives me crazy to have all three of us crammed in there. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that those are our moments.

I hope you will take some time today to enjoy those little moments, my sweet readers. For, as they say, someday you may look back and realize that they were actually the big moments.