Aging gracefully?

You know how every child goes through stages where they are absolutely obsessed with certain things for a while. All my kids have done it on and off as they have gotten older with different things. When they were younger, they would become so engrossed with a certain movie. They would not watch anything else except this particular movie, over and over and over again.  

Kameron, my one-year-old, is at this point right now. We watch “Sing 2” literally 5 times a day. I tried to sneak in some “Trolls” last night, so that maybe we could move on to a new obsession, but I do not think it stuck.  

Emerson, my oldest, used to be the same way about Barney, but now that she has a phone, I guess you could say that is her current obsession. (As long as it is not boys!) 

Ashton, my four-year-old, is weirdly obsessed with age though. She asks me a billion questions a day about how old so-and-so is or how old she will be when she is in this grade or how old she must be before she can start doing something. 

Yesterday, it was about snacks. She said, “The best age is when I am old enough that I can decide for myself when I can eat a snack.” Girl, I feel you. One of the best aspects of adulthood is being able to decide for yourself when and what you eat. For example, if I want ice cream for supper, then ice cream for supper it is.  

I guess you could say I used to be obsessed with age, too. When I was Emerson’s age I could not wait until I was ten. Double digits, woohoo! Then, I could not wait until I was 13 so that I could say I was officially a teenager. After that it was 16, so I could finally drive. Of course, 18 after that because adulthood obviously. 21 followed that so I could have a legal drink if I so chose. Then, 25 so my insurance would not be so high.  

After 25, I stopped caring so much about my age for a little while. I remember thinking that I wish I could just stop there. Mid-twenties is not a bad place to be. At 25 I had just gotten married, I had one baby and another on the way, we were renting a house and I had a decent job at that time. So, yes 25 was great! 

Then came the dreaded 30 milestone. This was the first time in all my life that I actually felt like I was getting older. Although 31 may have been a little harsher just because it was clear I was now over that 30 threshold and not just at it, but here I am. 31.  

It is not so bad here honestly. After I accepted the fact that I was indeed getting older, I really just immersed myself in that fact. After feeling like a girl all my life, this year I have confidently been able to step into my womanhood era. I feel that I have enough life experiences under my belt now, have had my fair share of hardships, bad memories, heartache and a couple of life-altering moments. All of which I survived.  

I used to care so much about my appearance and what others thought of me. Now I will walk down that aisle in Wal-Mart with no make-up, hair a mess and my sweatpants on, like it is a catwalk, baby! I no longer flinch when someone calls me, “Mam,” or “Mrs. Paige.” I am definitely more confident in my parenting skills now compared to almost 10 years ago when I had my oldest. However, I still do not claim to be an expert in that field and highly doubt I will ever have that credential at the end of my name. 

So, even though I may sometimes wish for those carefree days of being in my early 20’s, with little to no responsibilities, 99 percent of the time, like Ashton, I am actually quite obsessed with my age, too (and being able to have ice cream for supper.)  

I am looking forward to what this decade will teach me and how I will continue to evolve and grow as a person.

(Paige Nash is a 31-year-old wife, mom and digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal.)

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