My man is managing a milestone today. Namely….the hubby turns 40. And while I’m all giddy about it, planning a week-long celebration with surprises embedded along the way, he’s a bit maudlin about the whole affair. He came home last night after a movie night out with a buddy and after a quick couch cuddle, I asked how he was feeling about his big birthday. Me, asking, grinning, eyes shining because for some reason, I’m quite happy about him turning 40. I’m excited about what lies ahead in our life together and am so proud that the boy I met 16 years ago, then married 10 years ago is now very much a grown up man living a grown up, happy life.
But while my eyes were all shiny and happy for him, he’s a bit blue about the whole event. Which I guess can be expected—not everyone loves hitting a milestone birthday. While some embrace it, own it and welcome the event, others like the hubby it seems, see it as a sign of how much life is left to live, rather than looking ahead at the life waiting. And at first I was a bit confused…how could you not be happy about this? After all, he has a home, a loving family, a good marriage, hobbies that keep him hopping, he’s successful in his career. What more could he want? And while he acknowledged that yes he has all of that, he was just plain old feeling a little old about moving into this new phase of his life.
After a few more “But…but…but” protests on my part, I decided it was just time for me to quiet down rather than try to convince him to be happy about it all. Note too that I’m not 40, and nor will I be for a few years yet, so I probably can’t completely appreciate what he’s experiencing. So rather than convincing him to be happy about the whole affair, I zipped it and hugged him and thought we’d be better off with me letting him just go through what he’s experiencing. It’s taking a page from our parenting book in fact—rather than just brush off any feelings my children have about a conflict at school, or sadness about missing a relative, I try and at least let them experience what they’re feeling and talk about it as they want to, rather than just try to sway them with the bright side of life, which is what I used to do earlier in my parenting career. Same strategy applies here it seems.
I also know my hubby well enough to realize that he’ll come around and be ready to celebrate, or at least mark the occasion, soon enough. So when you’re ready honey, happy 40th birthday!