Today I reached the milestone, that magical halfway-there point: 40. Am I supposed to feel old? It’s hard to feel ancient when you’re still chasing around an inquisitive, energetic three-year-old. It’s also hard to feel like the world is slowing down when you’ve got pals as fun-loving as those I am honored to call friends.
My 40th started out with a splash when I returned home from taking our oldest four kids to school and saw, in the distance, a polka-dotted, colorful sign at the entrance to our cul-de-sac. Even before turning into our circular neighborhood, I knew what awaited me: the infamous display of bras throughout the yard that, to my zany circle of friends, heralds a milestone birthday. Last week, another one in our bunch turned fifty. Instead of lacy bras, mainly slips and old pantyhose decorated her yard. Someday, perhaps, I’ll be so lucky, but at my tender age, I’m still at bras. All the credit goes to my crafty friends, who apparently had planned to do the bra fling before the kids and I left for school. When my early-bird daughters foiled their plot by heading out to the van early, they concocted a Plan B, hiding around the corner to await our exit. They must have worked fast and furiously, connecting one bra to another to form several bra boundaries (including one across the driveway itself) and speckling our trees, planters and watering can in just the right places with a plethora of undergarments. After only two school drop-offs, my yard had a new face.
All I could do was giggle and think, “I’ve arrived.” It might sound crazy, even childish, to those who know us only from afar, but the fact of the matter is that the comrades who arranged this beautiful yard bouquet are some of the most lovely mother-friends a “girl” could ask for, and I feel truly privileged to have been “bra-ed.” In this oftentimes exhausting world of mothering and living, I need all the support I can get, and as evidenced in part by today’s display, I know I’ve got it.
So, to my husband, who played along with the “bra-ing” plan like a trooper; to my mother, whose pre-birthday visit was one of my favorite gifts; to my kids, who added their own sweet touches to my special day; to other family and friends who called or emailed to acknowledge the momentous occasion; and to my friends, who topped it all off with the fabulous bra blast: thank you so very much for helping me “slip” into this new decade of my life with such grace. I love you all! (And to my forgiving neighbors, the bras will be coming down soon, I promise, but I have orders to leave them up until tomorrow evening. Thanks for your patience and smiles.)