Monday, August 24, 2009

Do You Know How Long It Has Been...?

I turned 39 this summer. A few of my friends did, as well. Donna and I decided we aren't so old. But I was talking to my daughter, I don't even remember the subject. A movie.
"I haven't seen that movie in..." my mind throws out a guess as it works the math. Thirteen, fourteen years, it guesses. *Ding* The math is done. I swallow... "Ohhhhhh," I groan into my salad as the actual number is twenty-seven.
My daughter reads my expression and laughs silently. "A long time?"

Moments like that make me shake my head in wonder. I am still that little girl... I'm ten and want to be like my mom and marry someone just like my dad, I cant wait to see my friends and I am terrified of strangers. I can spin around and around by my knees on the bars at recess and never get dizzy or hurt. I'm twelve and have a secret crush on Jeff Clark and I'm the teacher's pet and hate it, and babysitting means I can buy a ten-speed with the curled handbars. I'm fourteen and high school terrifies me and I cling to my friends and wonder how I can want to say so much and be so tongue-tied, and I love to dance. I'm sixteen and I've had four first kisses and my family are my best friends because my true best friend moves away, and my grades fall because chemistry and geometry elude me. And my heart breaks and I break hearts and I worry about what I am going to college for and my friends all seem to know and they all go away, and then I go away and my mom turns my bedroom into an office, and I am sure they have a party to celebrate my departure, but then I see the pictures and their red eyes and my mom and sister are crying. And I find someone who gets me... who makes me feel like I am enough, and yet I can be so much more, and we fight and we play and we push through together and I ask myself, "Who else would I be without him?" and I don't want to know. And we have five children and raise four. I change diapers and wipe faces and chase runaways in Walmart and believe I will never read a book again as I read to their upturned faces and they shower me with love and I sit at the table talking to my sixteen year old about old movies I haven't seen in... a really long time.

I do not feel 39. I have only been through enough to believe it. I am that little girl.


Gramma Spice said...

Oh my beautiful, daughter with the soul of a young poet and an old sage...wait until you are 62 and your visiting children and grandchildren drive away and you ask each other...didn't we just say, "I do"? Scarier show the 9 year old a picture of you at 25 and she hasn't a clue who they are looking at! Ha! Ha!

Shelli said...

Cute post Kris. I love it. Did Chelsea make your cake? It's so cute. I think we will always feel young, even when we are 80 somethings watching our great grandchildren run around. I look forward to the day!

Krista said...

Chelsea and Laura made me my cake. There are 39 candles. It was the prettiest birthday cake I have had in a long time!

397 Magpie Road said...


This is your cousin Katie...I really think you should enter this entry into a essay contest where you have to answer the question, "When did you first realize that you had become a grown up" for Real Simple magazine. You could win $3000 and a trip to New York to see a Broadway play (WICKED!!!)

"Send your typed, double-spaced submission (1500 words max) in word attachment by email to" Here is the website with more info.

I really love the post--its great. Maybe it will win?!?!

(Did you know my husbands from Lyman WY--only 3-4 hours away fro you)

Anonymous said...


I loved what you wrote here. And it came at just the right time; I read it on my 38th Birthday (yikes). I thought I was a freak for all the ways I don't feel like I've grown up. You made me feel normal and expressed well what I have felt. So thank you. I think you're awesome. I hope you don't mind me checking out your blog once in a while.


Krista said...

Thanks, Sterl. Happy Birthday! Katie,I entered the contest. Thanks for thinking of me. Shell,k I would love to be 80-something with you around. Let's make it a goal, sis. Mom, you are one of the reasons I am still young. Because you are. xox