And I’m 40

I’m 40 today. Mom turned 40 last month so I’ve been thinking about it for about a month. Turns out it wasn’t a big deal. But I did get a sweet gift from Mom.

That’s right. Two of my favorite things combined into one awesome birthday present – a Lynn Swann autographed mini-helmet.

Best birthday card. This one from my sister-in-law.

Laughing aren’t you?

I think 40 is a little disconcerting because its the first milestone birthday that many of us remember our parents having. My Dad turned 40 in 1980. My Mom decorates this old fitted bedsheet with “40 is fantastic!” on it. Then she puts it on the outside of the front door. To make sure my Dad has to enter the house that way, she unplugged the garage door opener and then locked the garage doors. My Dad gets all annoyed and then walks up to the front door and starts laughing. We had a birthday cake and watched the Steelers lose to the Oilers 6-0. 1980 was tough year. The freaking Raiders won the Super Bowl, Mean Joe played his last game and Lady by Kenny Rogers was the top song of the year.

Anyway, I was thinking about all my birthdays that ended in zero. 1980 turned ten. Played Space Invaders went to the see The Nude Bomb. 1990 turned 20. Camped with some friends. Turning 20 by the way is such a let down. I’m mean you’re 20. It should be a big damn deal. But nothing really changes besides not saying “teen” when talking about your age. Plus, you’re still dumb enough to think Milwaukee’s Best Light tastes just fine. Although I do miss this:

2000 turned 30. I put a 6 month old Riley in front of Baby Einstein while I installed a storm door. Guess priorities change…

Today I went to work, came home, did nothing. Today is the first weekday not called Friday that we don’t have any kid activities since April 6th. I’m amazed we’ve made it this far. Gymnastics ended last week. Dance ends this week with recitals tomorrow and Saturday. Only two more weeks of softball. But after years of dance recitals in May, I’m not going to complain about having three softball games in one evening. If my choice managing costume changes backstage at dance recital rehearsal or coaching unattentive and easily distracted kindergarteners, I’m picking the the 5 year-olds every time.

And, by the way, I am now completely certain that I look forward to summer more as Dad than I did when I was kid. Don’t get me wrong. Summer was freaking excellent in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Capture the Flag and Ghost in the Graveyard remain awesome to this day. But getting a 2 and a-half month break from after school activities is indescribably awesome. It’s like Reggie Miller in Game 1 of the ’95 Eastern Conference semi’s against the Knicks. It’s like the Season 2 premiere of LOST. It’s like seeing Guns ‘N Roses live in the summer of ’88.

And in 13 days, school is out…


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