Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Turning 40 Tomorrow...

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I really haven't thought of my age a whole lot since I turned 30. I was sure that turning 30 was going to be a tough birthday for me.

It actually ended up being very nice. A neighbor offered to keep our 2 girls and Jon and I ate dinner at the German Outback Steakhouse and went to a great Volksfest and rode rides.

It was a great day.

Even though the kids are growing and getting older, I don't see myself as "old". Sometimes I don't even feel like a grown-up. I mean, I play with the kids. I watch "Glee". I sing karaoke and color with Abby. We swim and goof around and I feel like I can do most of the "kid" things still.

Tomorrow I'll be 40. My body doesn't feel 40, even though it has a few battle scars and a couple more pounds than I'd like. I don't feel "O-L-D".

But, knowing that tomorrow my new age will start with a "4" scares me just a tiny little bit.

Why? I don't really know. There's no reason for it to.

Life at Casa Heffner is pretty good these days. The summer weather is gorgeous, Virginia is lovely (except for the traffic and crazy drivers...), and 9 days out of 10 my job doesn't suck. The kids and Jon are good, and we've seen more of Jon in the last year than we have the rest of his military career!

But being "in my 40's" scares me. In my mind, it's closer to "the end".

Not to be morbid. I am NOWHERE near being ready for the end of this life.

It's not the number itself. It's really hard to explain.

Hopefully tomorrow will be wonderful and I won't feel a bit different........

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I heard myself in my teenage daughter last night.

"You don't understand. You have no idea what I'm going through."

Oh, honey, I do. But you don't believe me. I was 16 once and thought I knew it all. I thought my mother couldn't possibly understand my life and how hard it was to be 16. I thought my parents were just there to make my life harder than it already was. I said those exact.same.words to my parents. (Well, my mom. No one ever talked that way to my dad. It just wasn't done.)

The only part of your life that I haven't gone through as a teenager is the constant moving. That part sucks. And I wish you didn't have to deal with it. But it's the life that God gave you, and there's a reason why He thought you could handle it. I wish I could explain to you that it sucks for me, too. I don't have best girl friends to hang out with. I don't have someone to cry to (except your dad, but sometimes you need another female...) I hate being the "new girl" too. It's not any easier as an adult. But it has made me stronger. More confident. And I know you don't think so, but it's done that for you, too. I see it in you - you are brave and strong, and you can handle it. I know you can.

I know you think that I don't love you, that all I do is yell at you. I know you think your life is hard. And some of it probably is.

But I don't yell because I like it. I yell to enforce the rules that you (loudly) disagree with. I yell because sometimes I have to be loud in order for people to even hear me at our house and take me seriously at all.

I do love you. We don't hug a lot, because that's not who I am. But I tell you. Maybe I should tell you more. And I am always there for you. It hurts my feelings a lot that you think I'm not.

Maybe you don't know, but I have been crying every night a little bit, too. Thinking about how in one year you will be eighteen and possibly leave home (for college). It's a day I've been dreading since 1994. You will be grown, and I will be replaced with friends, a boyfriend, a new life. You won't need me the way you did.

I don't know what to do. I have never been the mother of a teenage girl before. I don't know what I'm doing, and it probably shows. But I am trying. I'm trying to figure out this new phase of our relationship and how to make it work. It's hard. Some days it sucks.

It reminds me that I am not as young as I feel. I'm not that teenage girl that I see in your eyes. I am the mother now, and I have to figure out how to mother you through the trials that you're dealing with.

I make mistakes. I wish I was perfect. For you. And for me. But I'm not. I am far, far from perfect. And I will make many more mistakes before I die.

It's a fact of life.

We have to find a way to work through this.

I guess I haven't told you enough.

I love you. I am proud of you. I am lucky to be your mom. And grateful. And honored.

I wish you knew that, but I know that it takes more than words.

I will work on it. I hope you will, too.

I love you more than life. I hope you'll believe it.