11: Twenty-Nine and Holding

11: Twenty-Nine and Holding

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grand and Great

Twenty-Nine and Holding

To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am.

~Bernard Baruch

Our family had always been big on birthday celebrations and other special occasions. On each and every birthday, my entire family gathered together to share a meal, gifts and a song. My mother wasn’t fond of her own birthdays. Like many women her age, when her birthday rolled around she only admitted to being twenty-nine, just as she was the year before.

At the ripe old age of twelve, my twin sons had figured out that Grandma was much older than she admitted, but didn’t question her when she once again announced that she was twenty-nine and holding. My younger daughter, Becky, took her seriously, however. She believed every word that her grandmother told her. If Grandma said she was twenty-nine, as far as Becky was concerned, she was twenty-nine. There was no question about it.

A few months went by, and we joined together as a family to celebrate my thirtieth birthday. After everyone sang “Happy Birthday,” we enjoyed heaping helpings of cake and ice cream. Finally, the time came for me to open my presents. Becky had been unusually quiet during the entire birthday celebration. She carried a worried look on her face.

After all of the guests left, she couldn’t stand it any longer and sadly informed me, “Mamma, you’re thirty, and Grandma is twenty-nine. I hate to have to tell you this, but you must’ve been adopted.”

~Nancy B. Gibbs
Chicken Soup for the Grandparent’s Soul

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