Why Turning Thirty Doesn’t Blow


Tomorrow I turn thirty.  Which means today was my last day to be young and stupid (according to my mother.)  In honor of this momentous last chance I blew-up a pool toy while driving.

Let me explain.

The final hours of my twenties included a 14-year-old personal training client (who would rather have died than spend the morning with some old chick doing squats,) two classes full of the “young at heart,”  a group of engineers analyzing the hill workout I designed, 19 pounds of raspberry picking, and five hours at the pool with my kids.   

Inflating the floaty in a 55 mph zone was my one opportunity to act misguided. 

I did lecture myself on the dangers of driving with one hand, the hazards of distractions while on the road, and the misgivings of an obstructed view.  Still I made it to the pool unharmed making it difficult to accept my own advice.

Which is the problem with being young and stupid: it’s kind of fun.  At the pool, I watched my kids break the rules . . . repeatedly.  Going down the slide head first, running and jumping into the shallow end, and eating sno-cones in the warm pool might be against the rules — but it’s also the most fun they had all afternoon.  Rules are hard to follow when it seems like they were obviously made for other people who ruined it for the rest of us.  Rules are easy to break when nothing bad happens breaking them.  That is the essence of young and stupid; pushing the limits without any consequence . . . until consequence finds you. 

Consequence is where old and wise comes from.

Which is why I look forward to getting older.  I cannot wait to be wise.

I hate making mistakes.  I dread looking foolish.  I despise feeling like the butt of a joke.

I live in anticipation of the day that I outgrow the error of my ways.  

That kind of growth only comes with facing consequences.  God says that when we suffer because of our foolishness, it is because He loves us.  Whom He loves, He also chastises.  I mess up a lot  and I always get caught.  Which only means that God must really love me, and  I must really want to be wise.

Last week I left my kids at the Club pool while I went to teach an aerobics class . .. in a studio . . . that overlooks the pool.  I stood in the window and grit my teeth as my daughter held my son under water, I crossed my arms as my son put ice down my daughters swimsuit, and I all but jumped through the glass as they both ordered sno-cones without permission (and NOT the sugar-free kind). I also felt great pleasure when I picked them up from the pool and recounted to them all of their misbehavior.  I even smiled a little while they cried knowing they lost movie privileges for the week.

Today my son said to a fellow pool goer, “we have to be good, my mom can see everything.”

I guess that is the beginning of wisdom: not turning thirty, but fearing who sees when we do something stupid.

Advertisements