The anticipation of my birthday dinner with my daughter is always the best. We make our annual trek to Tsunami and she tells me how I look younger than my age and I tell her she must be drinking, because I sure feel it. Hey, if I am old enough to have a daughter who graduated from college, I should be able to enjoy my advanced age and be okay with it, right? In reality, I am NOT, okay with it.

I wonder every day where the years have gone. I remember the excitement of being in college and the feeling of accomplishment when I graduated. I felt a sense of power as I set career goals and worked hard to become better at my craft. I did get sidetracked on the way. Amber was my bouncing baby girl with enough energy to power a small southern town, who loved to nap while I was working, and was more inquisitive than Sherlock Holmes on the case of a missing something or another. I think birthdays remind me of how my life and singular focus changed from advancing my career to advancing Amber. She was the reason I got up every morning. The reason I laugh for no reason. The reason I have seen all the Harry Potter movies. She is the reason I have small wrinkle lines on my forehead. She is the reason why wine is a staple in my diet. We have had some amazing experiences over the years, and every birthday I wonder what will come next.

Our discussions are much different now. She is at the beginning of her illustrious career. She has great goals, lofty dreams and aspirations about what she wants to do in the future. I provide moral support and encouragement for her to spread her wings. She will when the time is right for her do just that. So for now, I enjoy and anticipate our birthday dinner. I look forward to her fussing at me for having dessert, and telling me I cannot eat too much of that. I listen when she tells me not to wear that shirt with that skirt, and I laugh when she breaks out into song or dancing for some random reason.

The thing about birthdays is that you taste a bit of your mortality once you get in your 40s. You understand the concept that you will not live forever. You see your life living on in your children and you take a bit of pride in that fact. So even though I do plan to enjoy my week-long celebration of another year of life, I also plan to reflect on my past, and eagerly await the future.

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Amber, my daughter and personal stylist.

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