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40

Thursday, May 31, 2018 | 2 Comment(s)

I distinctly remember my Mother's surprise 40th birthday party. I was 7. My brother was 10. The reason the image of this particular birthday burned itself into my brain is that I felt slighted by my father. My father had not felt his sons would able to keep the secret of the looming surprise party, so we were whisked off to Hebrew School like some mundane moving part in an Ocean's 11 movie. I wasn't conscious of it at that point, but I have a propensity for grudge holding, a trait I actively work to soften daily. Forgiveness is freedom.
Dear Me, Forgive yourself for looking like this. Forgiveness is freedom.
Back at our Ocean's 11 caper, a family friend had taken my Mom out to breakfast, or coffee, or some other lame backstory that I wasn't privy to but surely could have improved upon if I had been consulted. After consuming their unimaginative beverage or food, they swung by the synagogue to pick my brother and me up before returning home. When we got home, as you might imagine, she was surprised. Verily. And so was I. And then I was angry. Super angry. Little kid Matt was a little messed up, but at least I could still enjoy a party. Which I did.

The reason I bring any of this up is that I am turning 40 this year, and it is the first time I will be turning an age I clearly (and I think I've demonstrated both depth of knowledge and clarity) remember one of my parents turning. And let me be clear - this is not that kind of existential crisis. I'm not promising that there won't be future pontification, but it will not be of the I'm that much closer to death!?!?! variety.