I am now forty years old. It feels good. I have six children--one of whom is sixteen--I've been married for nineteen years, so it's time for me to be forty. In many ways, my thirties felt so much easier than my twenties. I don't miss all the looming major decisions and transitions of young adulthood. My thirties also really feels like a decade of growth--sometimes literally: our house got bigger, our family got bigger, our kids got bigger--and my capacity to deal with all that grew too. I'm planning on my forties being fabulous.
Several weeks ago, Mark announced he was throwing me a birthday party. "What kind of party?" I asked. "I was thinking chips and salsa," Mark replied. (He now says that was a joke.) I let Mark take the lead on invitations, but I took over as party planner, and we threw what I think was a delightful chocolate tasting party.
I put each chocolate wrapper in a numbered brown paper sack in the other room so partiers could identify the chocolates once they had finished the blind taste test. You voted for your favorite by writing your name on the bag.
The real crowd-pleasers of the night were:
Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate. It really was smooth and dark but not too dark. I don't believe anyone disliked it.
But the most wonderful part of my birthday was this:
I was standing in the kitchen during the party, when suddenly Mark rushed up to me. He led me around the corner, and there stood...my mother. From Dallas. With no warning to anyone, that crazy girl woke up on Saturday morning, bought herself a plane ticket, and showed up for the party. I burst into tears right in front of everybody. Not much better than seeing your mommy on your birthday.