Posted by: peterhact | November 21, 2011

40 is the new… errr… 39?

Okay, so i turned 40 a while ago now. Back in April, I hit the big four oh. No midlife crisis, after all, how is 40 midlife when I am aiming to live to be a 100 at least? It can happen. It can! So, I turned 40. I had a small gathering to celebrate, the kids, my exwife and me. Funny, when I was younger there were two things I was certain about. the first, I would keep in contact with all my friends. The second, no way did I expect to live to be 40, so shedding friends was alright.

What i got for my birthday was a camera that I saved up for myself. I got presents from the kids, of course, handwrapped, and then unwrapped by them as I was patently way too old to manage. of course I was. The camera though, now there was something the kids got. Daddy could take their photos at the park, in the backyard, on a trip, at the botanical gardens, any chance they got, the camera was demanded to be used. And I obliged.

I took photos of action figures, dolls, stuffed toys, kids, interesting trees, leaves, flowers, kids, interesting rocks, lizards, butterflies, chairs, kids, and there was a pattern emerging. The kids were everywhere. pick a shot of a creek, there was a small child in the shot. like my portwine magnolias? oh, the child? how did they get there? The only time that they weren’t relentlessly jumping into shots, was when i was attempting to take photos of the Search and destroy Cat Module. No child present. I considered strapping the cat to the front of my camera bag, but then decided against it after he started yowling at me.

I wrote a post a while ago about forgetting things. Now that I am “normal” well, for me at least, it has intensified.  I forget the iron is off, put away and can’t possibly be on. I realise that the lights are off in the house when i walk into things in the dark. I could have sworn the light was on… Don’t get me started about the car. The lock clicker will wear out soon, with my “I think I locked it better go and check for the 10th time”.

The hair on my head is greying, as it is growing back. Really true. I have more age marks, laugh lines, WRINKLES every day, and I am NOT laughing much at all. The cat scars are taking longer to heal, though this could be attributed to the number of times they are nearly healed and I get a fresh dose. As my colleague pointed out the other day, if I was a horse, no pasture for me. Off to the knackers – though even the glue factory might have second thoughts.

The terrible thing is that i feel as young as I did when I was 20. My mind still looks out through my clear eyes and sees me as I was, then reality crashes in with a photograph. Nah, that is not me. There is no way that fat, balding wrinkly thing is me? if I am desperate, I ask the kids. “is daddy old?” See the can of worms I open there? the boys are 4. anyone over 4 is old. My daughter is 6. she tries to butter me up for the hope that I will let her have / do / buy whatever it is she wants. I am old and cunning. I can see what she is doing, but I am a daddy ruled by his little girl. And she does say such nice things…

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