Up until today my entry into middle age has been fairly smooth. When I turned 40 I didn’t wrestle with hang-ups about ageing like many of my friends. I may have noticed an extra grey hair or two sprouting from my hairline, and there’s no denying that the lines on my face are definitely multiplying, but I’ve been taking it all in my stride. Grow old gracefully, right?
Well, this morning my daughter shattered my best intentions to embrace my 40s gracefully with one single comment. Let me set it up for you.
I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, naked, when said child walked past to steal one of my hair elastics. God knows where the hundreds of her own hair elastics have run off to. On her way out the door she gave me a friendly slap on my bare arse and said. “Your bum is like a jellyfish.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled through the toothpaste foam that was now cascading out of my mouth due to my dropped jaw. “What’s yours like?”
“A rock.” She smiled cheekily.
She was right; her 8-year-old pert little toosh is almost as hard as a rock. Mine was once upon a time too. And that’s what I’ll cling to as gravity pulls parts of my body downward over the coming years.
When I start to lament my sagging jowls, I’ll look at my daughter’s tight jawline and say to myself, ‘Once upon a time my jawline was as sharp as a knife too’.
When my eyelids begin to droop like melting marshmallows, I’ll remind myself that ‘Once upon a time my eyelids were tight too, just like the other parts of my once well-scaffolded body’.
The scaffolding will continue to grow shakier and my buttocks might even change from the gelatinous mass of a jellyfish into the texture of raw egg, but I’ll do my best to grow old gracefully. Raw eggs make delicious soufflés, right? Or perhaps I’ll run off to the closest cosmetic surgeon instead. It depends how many times my daughter slaps my bum and compares my anatomy to wobbly sea creatures.
I should console myself with the fact that jellyfish is a delicacy in several Asian countries. Then again, people eat raw eggs too.