On my birthday in Finland, I woke up before everyone and had a shower and washed my hair and started thinking about my half-siblings. I was thinking about them back when there were themed birthday parties (construction and princess, respectively) and the playing of "Good Guys and Naughties" (someone miss-heard the groups in World War 2) and "Mommy Daddy". These same creative minds discovered the most evil of all insults. It came at the end of every major tussle: "You're OLD!" "NO! You're OLD!" Ah, but they were sweet little things. When their nearly constant companion asked me how old I was, I answered "Twenty." He looked startled and said softly and hesitantly "Twenty? That's.......old." My half-siblings jumped to my defense, though it seemed half-hearted. I could see that to them 20 did, indeed, sound old.
Now I'm 28. If 20 was old, what would those children think now? Luckily they're a bit older, so maybe there is a bit of a different perspective. I began wondering what my child self would think about me at 28. What accomplishments I would have achieved. I thought back to games of MASH and plans with my best friend of running a candy/wooden toy shop on Prince Edward Island. I thought of how near I am to 30.
I dried and dressed and emerged from the steamy bathroom and there in front of me stood Ivo's 83 year old grandmother. Had Ivo not been asleep she may very well have sung "Happy Bitrthday to you" with the childish line "Aprikose in de' Hose". The woman hikes with speed, makes silly faces and jokes and sees without glasses. Then I realized that calling myself "OLD" was an insult to her. I accepted my birthday kisses and ate too many sweets and had a fantastic birthday.