Do the Math When it Comes to Your Age.

Do you ever need to do the math to remember how old you are?

For me it started after 30.

Um, let’s see…. 2010 — 1975 — carry the 1…

35.

Wait, no I was born in May. 34. Still 34.

I always do the math now, because I spent an entire year telling people I was 32 when I was really only 31.

Sometimes the math is shocking.

It’s 17 years this spring since I graduated from high school. I’m closing in on the 20 year mark.

20 years?

In my memory it’s still yesterday. When did it get to be so long ago?

Almost two decades since I plastered my bangs high in the air with Aquanet, pegged and rolled my jeans and listened to Boyz II Men on the radio.

Yeah. The 90’s.

I said it was a long time ago. I didn’t say I missed it.

The math can be good too.

This month my husband and I celebrate our 12th anniversary. And we still like each other.

We’re not perfect. We have moments when we want to strangle each other. But the good stuff far outweighs the bad. I look forward to counting the next 50 years with him.

Then there are times when the cold hard facts of  the numbers take my breath away.

It just can’t be possible that my oldest is five, and heading to kindergarten this fall. It can’t be possible that the baby will be one already in May.

Everyone says it. “They grow up too fast.” You don’t believe it when sleepless nights stretch into long tired days. But numbers don’t lie. The math reminds me to cherish this time with my little ones. Even the days when they splash so much water from the bathtub that it leaks into the basement, and they stain the beige carpet with grape juice.

I’m actually not very good at math. College Algebra almost ruined my life. I can balance my checkbook five times in a row, and arrive at five different numbers. But those kinds of numbers really are insignificant.

It’s the equations that add up to a life that really matter.

When I’m, uh–

…34 plus 50…add that to 1975…

84 in 2059 I want to sit next to my husband in our matching wheels chairs, and like him even more than I do now. I want to see my children who grew into compassionate adults. I want to hear my grandchildren laugh, and watch them get into mischief.

If that’s what the numbers tell me all those years from now, I’ll know I got the answers right.