06/27/2013 11:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why It's Great to Be 48

Shannon Bradley-Colleary

Tomorrow I turn 48. Here's what I like about 48:

My kids are not so cynically old that I'm obsolete nor so freshly green that I have to deal with their poop in all its iterations.

I'm the most confidant I've ever been, in part because I found out about Yummy Tummy underwear and now I don't have panty lines under my dresses anymore.

I like myself. I would hang out with me if I weren't me because I give really good tickles and massages and feel compelled to make people laugh. I'm also a rapacious compliment-er. (i.e. your eyes are luminous pools of star-fire as you read this post).

I trust myself. I'm not going to leave my husband Henry for a Floridian porn producer unless he's disguised as one.

I crack myself up. The other day, I was reading one of Henry's scripts in order to give him notes and I laughed out loud. Henry, pleased, asked me what I thought was so funny and I said, "I was laughing at the note I gave you in the margin." For some reason, this annoyed him.

I don't exercise to lose weight, but simply to feel the lengthening and strength in my muscles and the jack-hammer of my heart as it ramps up my circulatory system. And also to be able to open a jar with my buttocks.

I don't suffer fools gladly, but will do so with a certain detachment if it's in my best interest, like when there's money or chocolate involved.

I know I'm smart enough, but not a genius, and that's OK.

I like my kinky, curly hair for the first time ever, in fact, it's my secret weapon. I can smother assailants in it.

I have my facial fuzz entirely under control and only 1% of it is grey.

I'm optimistically married.


I'm a good enough mother and I like my kids. In particular, Clare's deadpan insistence that one day she and our male tabby cat Beanie are going to get married and Bridget's yen for singing Footloose's "I Need A Hero" passionately off-key while jumping in a polka-dot bikini in our trampoline.

I feel pretty, and fortunate that I have access to dermatologists and Mary Kay. Even when I don't use them, it's good to know they're there. Like God.

I can still be surprised and delighted i.e. by Wes Anderson's dazzling Moonrise Kingdom; by the heady combination of prosciutto e melone; by the strong, furry, good-smelling safe cave of my husband's chest in bed at night; by my daughter Clare's wide-set, magnificent cornflower blue eyes; by the ever-increasing pageant of summery freckles that bedeck dear Bridget's soft, round face.


I love 48, just between young and old, both humble and celebratory, I open my arms to you.


What do you love about the age you inhabit?