I was driving home from work with Lucy in tow talking and sharing about our day. I felt full… full of love and energy and people. Today I turn 34, which is crazy since I remember not-so-long ago thinking that 34 was old and so far away. The funny thing about time and life is that they just move forward, no rewinding and no stopping. 34 always comes, if you make it that far.
I woke up with achy hips, but that is my normal. I felt pretty well rested since I forced myself to stop binge watching Nurse Jackie and go to bed. I looked in the mirror and looked pretty much the same as yesterday and last March (I think). I guess 34 isn’t so bad, I think I am always thankful to just get to and be a new age. I am sure 35 and 50 will rock… 63 will be as good as I make it. I like life, I like waking up and starting new days. I like challenging myself and seeing all the crazy awesome the God throws into all the parts of our lives. I am so glad to wake up when the bad stuff is all done and have it behind me, there is no rewind, remember? I am glad for every tomorrow I am gifted… and I will be all good when there are no more tomorrows. Life is good.
So… today on the way home… feeling full and loved and whole. I think grateful is the best way to describe the feeling today, grateful for it all. I am grateful for my net that scoops me up before I sink to deep, grateful for the shitty things that make me this very me, grateful for the gifts in every.single.day- for my ‘friends’ at school so excited to share my day. I am grateful for the friends and family that thought about me and wished me a smile and wonderful day… I am grateful for it all. I get to hang with my favorite guy that God plopped into my life just at the right moment… I am grateful for all the paths that got us both to these spots. I have a full and whole heart filled with gratitude.
In that car ride, yes it is taking me this long to get to the next part (so what I am a chatty story teller), I had a clear memory. My first birthday as a mom was the March the year after Madeline was born, she was about 10 months old. March 30, 2007 was sunny and warm just like today. I remember waking up to a day so different than today, a day I felt isolated and alone. I always loved being busy and full with friends and family on my Birthday. March 30, 2007 Matthew got up like normal and went to work, it was just Madeline and I, quiet and strange for me. I couldn’t expect more, that was life of being home and having a husband work. I didn’t have a lot of friends with kids back then, so it was up to Madeline and I to head out and have a day. As per normal we ate breakfast and watched Regis and Kelly… packed up the stroller and headed out for our morning walk. I remember clearly feeling isolated and sad that this was what birthdays were like now, quiet and lonely. We walked the same path we did daily for years, but this day we stopped in the park with a playground near us. I decided that this was the day for Madeline to swing.
I took Madeline out and secured Sparky’s leash around the swing set. I took the big blanket out to wrap and prop her up in the bucket swing. She had on the cutest coat and hat. I secured her in the swing and pushed. On a sunny day, that happened to be my birthday, Madeline had a ‘first’… and the love for swinging started then. I remember knowing what a big deal it was that she could swing and we could now enjoy the playground… I remember her loving it and our days now had a new activity. Little did I know all those ‘new’ activities would compile and she would grow so fast… until she didn’t.
I liked that I had that clear memory, right next to the feeling of gratitude. I am not in that place anymore, I am in a place that I am surrounded and loved and full… that my birthday feels special and not just ‘normal’. I loved my brain showing me Madeline at 10 months swinging and experiencing a first. I love that it is all in their, every memory, experience, smile… all are stored in this brain. I want to open up the drawers and remember more, but knowing it is there is enough for now. I am so glad to not be in the dark and lonely place I was back then, I think God pulled me out of isolation and got me surrounded so I could keep chuggin’ and livin’. He is good like that.
Thank you all. Birthdays are a big deal- all of them. We should all know that our own life and birth is super important and special. We are lucky when we get to accumulate many years and birthday’s… especially if we know we are loved just the way we are. Thank you…. I love each of you just as you are (unless you chew with your mouth open… jokin’). Thank you for loving me back, just the way I am. The greatest gift in life and death is being loved always and anyway.