Recently at work I had a conversation with someone who had just turned 50. I paused for a moment to think and blurted out “My 50s have SUCKED. Out loud!” But really, it hasn’t been all that bad. I think the reason I was tempted to say that is because when we hit our 50s we begin to worry about whether we’re getting old, not just physically, but mentally too. I shake my head at the get-ups the girls wear at the college, or the boys with the crotch of their pants hanging down to their knees. But then I am able to comfort myself (or perhaps delude myself) into knowing that I’m really not all that old in comparison to others my age. And just when I start feeling good about that, **BAM** my oldest granddaughter turns 18! I mean, seriously, if you have an 18 year old grandchild, you should be well into your 60s and probably staring down the barrel of 70, right? And here’s the kicker — if she does to her mother what her mother did to me, I’ll be a GREAT-Grandmother in a year.

So, Nessa Rae, let’s keep it chill for a few more years, get out in the world and get to know yourself before you make your mother a grandmother, and me a great granny. In the meantime, have fun, don’t take life terribly seriously, but take your responsibilities seriously. Chase your dreams, no matter how stupid others may think they are. Don’t let someone you love become a regret. And above all, know how much you are loved, even if it doesn’t seem that way sometimes.

Happy Birthday, kiddo!