On turning 60
I will turn 60 in twelve days. Years ago I attended a birthday party for a woman turning forty, a gorgeous woman with a handsome husband who lived in a really nice loft in Tribeca and from my standpoint at twenty-eight I thought, "Jesus, poor thing, she's so old." It was puzzling and slightly annoying to me that this woman was so beautiful and so happy and her husband seemed to adore her because she was so old. Old. I was 37 when my son was born and they had phased out the term "geriatric pregnancy" but they still recommended I have an amnio and the size of that needle and the cruelty of the indifferent doctor who nearly took a phone call halfway through (back in the day when phones were on walls). I was terrified of miscarrying because I was so old. I published my first novel when I was thirty-four and wasn't described as young. And I was so young. So unaware of how long life could be, so filled with shame at my "success" which was as ephemeral as my status as the youngest child, as brief as the first time I told a man I loved him and he said it back and I discovered how painful, how perfect it was to be loved, to be desired, to be left, to grieve to live.