by Bryan Friedman in Daddy's Corner

Believe it or not, since pretty much the day after my 29th birthday, I’ve been dreading my 30th. To me, turning 30 somehow meant that I would have to officially be an adult now. I know that turning 18 or 21 (or 25) or whatever means you are an adult in the legal sense. But for me, the idea of turning 30 always felt like some sort of symbolic ending to my youth — no more staying up late, no more eating whatever I want, no more crazy nights out with friends…basically no more fun. (In retrospect, I think most of this “fun” ended closer to my 25th birthday anyway.)

So when I saw my 30th birthday fast approaching, at first I thought I’d rather not celebrate it at all. “Let’s just forget this is even happening,” I thought. But of course, that would have been silly, so I decided instead that it was best, as always, to surround myself with everybody that I love and everybody who loves me… …so I can share with them the misery of me turning old. And that’s what I did. (Well, that, and I ate a whole bunch of overly yummy food made by former Top Chef-testants.)

On Saturday night, Alison and I went out with some of our closest friends to Stefan’s at L.A. Farm in Santa Monica. Some of the food that was served to our table is easily some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life — from appetizers, to salads, to entrees and dessert, it was just an exquisite meal. After it was over we even went out and [sort of] partied hard at an Irish Pub. It was almost like college again, only we had more money and we got tired a little early.

On Sunday, my actual birthday, Alison took me to brunch at Eveleigh in West Hollywood for more awesome food followed by a surprise helicopter tour of L.A. Such an awesome surprise, and we got to see some really cool sites from 500 feet in the air.

Finally, we finished up the night with our families, including Baby Madelyn, with a seven course dinner at Cafe Firenze in Moorpark from Chef Fabio. It was a real treat and the best way I could possibly think of to end what turned out to be just about the perfect 30th birthday weekend for me.

So anyway, it happened. I’m 30 now. I’m old. My 20s are officially over. It’s the end of my youth.

Thankfully, however, I have some truly incredible friends, an extremely awesome family, and an even more incredible and awesome wife and daughter. By sharing with them some great food, good laughs, and fun times during my 30th birthday celebrations, I came to a realization. I guess it took the whole weekend (or probably the whole year) for me to figure it out, but I know now that 30 is not the end of something, it’s the beginning of something. I think my “youth” was probably over longer ago than I’d like to admit, and while my 20s definitely had there fair share of wild times (“wild” is relative here folks…), my 30s will most certainly have their fair share of wildness too, albeit a wholly different kind of wild.

I’ve heard it said that “life begins at 30” and I guess that’s true. I have a beautiful and caring wife that I love, a perfect baby daughter…I now have the most wonderful family any 30-year-old could ever ask for. Forget my “youth” anyway! This is what life is all about. I think I like 30 after all.