Marlene Ratledge Buchanen

Well, reality has hit. James turned 37, and as we were celebrating, he informed me in 3 years he would be 40.

As his Mama, that was bit of a shock. I still think of him as 7. In 17 days I will be 70 years old.

Do you remember when we thought 35 was ancient? Then 50 was rather old? I was spry at 50. I am going to be 70. Entire body parts have started falling off of me. Not just stopped working, but sagging, bagging and gave up the ghost entirely.

A former boyfriend gave me a birthday card that said “Age is a matter of mind. If you don’t mind it, it doesn’t matter.“ The hell it doesn’t! At 70, am I a wise old woman or just an old wisecracking woman? You pick.

Remember perky? I used to be perky in all sense of the word. Perky personality. Perky breasts. Perky fanny. Like coffee, fresh perked loses its flavor after 70 years.

“Don’t want my peaches? Then don’t shake my tree!” That was another birthday card from 50 years ago. My peaches, went to watermelons while breastfeeding and now to long-necked squash. Going wireless at my age has nothing to do with the telephone service—it means my ta-tas make a lot of noise beating against my knees when I walk.

marlene240Mini-skirts! Worn then with pride. Now they can be worn as bando tops and stuff squishes out from under them. Fat wads. I get another one with every birthday. Now that slim, trim young body is lumpy, bumpy and definitely not humpy.

“Time changes all things” was one of Mama’s favorite expressions. Well, it sure does. My baby is 37 years old. My husband Snell recently turned 80, and now I am about to be 70. Time sort of snuck up on me. There have been a lot of changes, and I was not prepared for some of them.

Daddy used to tell me, “With the years comes wisdom.” I guess I am wise enough to know that I can’t stop the changes, and we all need to grow from our experiences. Am I wiser now? Yes, I have learned a lot through the years. From the moment, 37 years ago, the nurse laid that beautiful black haired baby on my chest to today when I have to look up to see his face, I have learned that I can take care of a baby and it will thrive. I have learned a lot about special needs and how to help people. I learned that there is no better love than that of man I adore and a child I cherish more than life. I have learned that Mama and Daddy were right more often than I was.

Happy birthday, James and to me. We earned the happy.