There are advantages to being over the hill. As soon as I remember them, make a trip to the bathroom and find my reading glasses I’ll let you know.

I believe I’m more patient now although I’ve found there are things that bother me beyond belief. Most of life’s irritants aren’t worth the energy to fuss about except when it comes to chocolate. It’s my birthday soon, and I started celebrating a week early. I’ve given myself permission to eat whatever I want even though it’s guaranteed to give me indigestion, gas and bloating.

I had my heart set on having a chocolate shake from my favorite fast-food joint when they announced their machine was broken. OK, that’s just fine, I’ll go with grease instead. I drove across the street to the chicken place. I ordered one of their combo specials – chicken, beans and a biscuit. The special was right there on the menu board, but for some reason, the voice from inside of the speaker box had never heard of this particular combination and wasn’t going for it.

I could have ordered something else but if they are going to go to all the trouble to put combinations together, number them, advertise them and insist we order them, I wanted it to be filled as specified.

After “the voice” realized I wasn’t going to give in, she said, in the most pleasant tone she could muster, “pull forward, please.”

She filled my order and said, “I guess I’ll have to go out and look at the menu board because I’m not aware of that special.” I just looked at her, over the top of my reading glasses, and drove off. I thought about saying something smart like “maybe you should” but it wasn’t her fault my fast-food cheating day was failing.

I’ve realized, and accepted, I’ve become my parents and I’m OK with it. I just hope my daughters think the same when they’re over the hill.

No matter how much parents say they bear no responsibility when adult children don’t follow the right path, it’s a constant worry when raising them. On the other end of the spectrum, as in my case, I often wonder how my girls turned out to be such wonderful people, parents and partners. Both of them have been married longer than I could hold down a stable relationship, when they were kids. I’m not sure how they learned the art of being married, but I admire them more than they know.

They graduated college with degrees, have successful careers, while I barely made it through high school (I chose to be a hippy over being a student). I couldn’t be more proud of their life paths. Even though their childhood was full of my drama and bad decisions, they grew up to be exactly as I wanted to be, but never was.

I’ll celebrate my birthday with my two best friends – my daughters – while patting myself on the back for a job well done.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence, Missouri. Email her at