Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur



Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I remember it vividly. I was sitting on the powder blue toilet lid looking at my mom putting on makeup. I probably was eleven years old and in the middle of grade school hell. It was a Peanuts cartoon that scared me.

“Mom, I was reading a Peanuts cartoon and Charlie Brown was talking about being a kid and falling asleep in the car.”


“Well, he said that he wanted to be a kid forever because when you grow up you’re the one that has to drive the car and no one is there to carry you into the house when you fall asleep.”

I went on to express my fears about growing up. I told her that if these are the best years of my life, then I’m not enjoying them very much. She stopped putting on her makeup and looked at me. I think she said something about how she was proud that I would understand that comic at all. I don’t remember the compliment, but I remember what her answer to my fear of aging was,

“Every year I’ve lived has been better than before. All those big birthdays haven’t made me feel older and I wouldn’t go back to being your age for anything. Growing older has been nothing but good for me and I look forward to each year.”

That was enough for me. I felt better. If my mom was happy being 33 years old, then I could be happy knowing that when I’m 33, I’ll be happy too. I thought that maybe the women of our family are late bloomers. Maybe the best years of our lives come when we’re in our sixties.

Because of that early morning conversation in the bathroom, I have never been fazed by those major birthdays. While my friends rejoiced at 21, I was happy that I could go to Wendover and dance clubs. I felt the same as I did before, I just had more privileges. Would I trade with being eleven years old and tormented by school peers? Hell no.

When my friends lamented turning 30, I had the same quiet birthday party as always. I was happy to add another year on my age. Would I trade with being a skinny 21 year old who was alone and confused about her future? Hell no.

I haven’t hit forty, but it is a mere four years away. I’m not scared of it. My mom was right. Every year has been better than the year before. Even when I’ve been in the middle of hard times, I would never trade with time from my past. Even my most miserable at 36 is better than my happiest at 19. And seeing my mom at her birthday this year, made me really look forward to my fifties.


1 Comment »

  1. Oh Laura,

    That almost made me cry. That is so sweet. My mom in her fifties is definitely happier than she’s ever been before. I’m so glad. I just hope I can hurry up and learn a lot while I’m still in my 30’s.

    Comment by Braidwood — 8/5/2005 @ 6:05 pm

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