32 years and 32 weeks.

Today is my birthday–the 32nd if you hadn’t guessed. I also realized that I am 32 weeks along in my pregnancy–something that seems like it should be particularly special, though I can’t put my finger on just why, exactly.

In the same way that having more kids changes your outlook on parenting, getting older changes your outlook on just what it means to be old. It turns out 32 is a LOT closer to 40 than I’d previously realized. It’s also not all that far away from 50, 65, and 80. It’s not that I think 32 or 40 for that matter, are old. It’s more or less than I thought I would  feel 32 or 40 by the time I got to that age. In actually I still struggle to grasp that I don’t look the same as I did at 22. Because, despite how much I’ve grown as an individual since then, I don’t really feel that I should fully qualify as a fully-fledged adult yet. I mean the IRS, electric bill, and constant reminders I receive in the mail to vote for this or that candidate  for this or that position all seem to think I do. But, my musical taste, favorite color and a love affair with Chuck Taylors that rivals my complete disdain for anything that could be even remotely mistaken for high heels all seem to scream that I am not.

Or maybe what I thought was 32, just wasn’t 32 after all. Maybe I thought I’d be more prim, proper and well-off? I can’t say I honestly spent a whole lot of time zeroing on the specifics of my fantasy life. I focused mostly on the biggies like my wedding day, baby’s first steps, and my dream house. I never thought about wrinkles, widening waist lines and gray hair–at least not those pesky stray ones that want to stick wildly on top of my head despite the use of every hair-taming product on the market.

The worst part isn’t being 32–because in fact I quite like 32. I’m old enough to enjoy the simple things in life and young enough to put some effort into making sure that my socks match when I walk out the door. The worst part is when 22 year olds think they have nothing in common with me. and I realized, that though 22 is a mere 10 years ago in my mind, to them it seems 25. I know, because I thought the same thing.