Sunday, April 19, 2009


Today is my 44th birthday.   Before now, I have thought of 44 as number on the back of Michael Jordan’s jersey, but today I can’t remember if he wore that number while in Chicago or Chapel Hill.  This is what it’s like to be 44.

44 is a very balanced number.  Other balanced numbers:  11, 22, 33.  At 11, I was a Little House on the Prairie fanatic.  I wore granny dresses and bonnets to school and carried my lunch in a tin pail, only things Laura Ingalls would have eaten.  At 22, I owned my first car, a 1980 Buick Skylark that my dad convinced me was the perfect vehicle, even though I considered it an old-lady car.  At 33, I was ten years into my career as a teacher, the one job I said, back when I was 22, that I never, ever wanted.  I taught for 17 years but don’t anymore, surprised to find that I don’t miss it. 

At 44, there is little I want.  I am content, blissful at times, with daily pleasures:  morning coffee that my husband makes and brings to me in bed, the New York Times crossword puzzle, the smile of my dog, good wine, good words, books on shelves in every room.  I have become what I never thought I would become: a homebody.  Chicago, Chapel Hill—who cares?   44 years from now, I’ll be happy to remember who Michael Jordan is.

--Jennifer Hubbard

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