The Hockins FamEnjoy this blog from my pal Karen Hockins… mom to Julia (7) and Audrey (4). I’ve known Karen since my days in Nashville when we were newlyweds with only our dogs to drive us crazy. She  is now 40 and FABULOUS!

So this year I turned 40.

Big deal right? Not to me.

Apparently it is to some members of my family, as well as some of my “misguided” friends. First, my parents – who thought it was cute to call me repeatedly and bust out laughing when I answered. Also my best friend – who bought me a pair of boob suspenders to keep “the girls” up (yes, these are available in some stores and online – who knew?). My husband, who unfortunately is 15 months my junior and talks about how I “robbed the cradle”, told anyone who would listen that his wife was going to be 40, reminding them too that he was nestled safely in his 30’s – a mere 38.

But most surprisingly, my 7-year-old daughter who couldn’t believe her mom was going to be such a big number. “I mean, 40 – WOW, that is majorly into the double digits and takes forever when counting to get to it.” (Her words)  She told all her friends, her teacher, the principal, and the neighbors – “My mom is 40! Can you believe that? 40!!!” Sigh. Even my sweet first born was obsessed with this!

Why is this such a topic of conversation, I wondered?

After all, I don’t look 40 (at least in my humble opinion). I definitely don’t act 40 (anyone who knows me who is reading this is nodding their heads at that one).

Age is a state of mind, right? And my state of mind is screaming 25! I am young, vibrant and hip. I can name every Jonas Brother and I dance with my kids to the songs on my iPod (some of these songs are even currently played on the radio). I TRY to dance like Beyonce’, even though I fail miserably. I also wear thong underwear at times and I don’t complain about it!

So come on? Doesn’t that all add up to one Hip mamma? Well to me, it does – and that’s really all that matters.

So I decided to embrace my image of myself and laugh off everyone else’s opinion about this number that had turned into such a phenomenon. It sure didn’t hurt that my husband decided to whisk me off to Orlando, Florida for a little mini-vacation (sans our two kids, woo hoo) in honor of my birthday. We stayed in a fabulous hotel right beside the Universal Studios theme park and had a wonderful time.

It was while relaxing poolside, that I came up with a list of the Top Ten ways to survive your 40th birthday based on my experience that weekend, and I’m going to share them here:

10. Relish the fact that a 65-year-old man hit on you at the pool bar and remind yourself that you’ve still got it. BOO yeah!

9. While looking for chairs at the hotel pool, if your husband slyly tries to steer you in the vicinity of the high school sunbathers, calmly say (audibly) “Holy Jailbait, Batman!”, smile widely, and keep walking towards other spots.

8. Just keep drinking…..just keep drinking….(this option is not for the weak, by the way).

7. Pretend the screams coming from the roller coasters at the theme park next door are really intended for you!

6. Channel your inner DIVA (or is that COUGAR?).

5. Keep reminding yourself that it takes a lot less time at the pool bar now when ordering a drink (because let’s face it, you ain’t gettin’ carded).

4. Follow the advice of the very happy Jamaican waitress at the hotel restaurant and just “ting a tong”. The tong I choose to ting is “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. I dare you not to have a smile on your face after listening to that one!

3. Two words – Rum Runners

2. When your husband makes a crack about all the blackbirds that seem to be congregating around your lounge, simply tell him that the birds are actually ravens who can predict the likelihood of his getting lucky on this trip. And to quoth the raven? Nevermore.

1. Don’t count what your age is in dog years. Dogs your age are dead.

Sexy at 16!
Sexy at 16!

So when your child tells someone that “My mom is 40!” You finish the sentence with…. “and FABULOUS!”