Hitting the pavement again but this time with some new kicks. Happy Birthday to me!
We were watching some home videos this weekend of Christmas pasts. It was only 7 years ago, but there were 2 details that I haven’t been able to shake.
1. I looked so young! What happened in the last 9 years since having children that has aged me so much?
2. In the video, both my husband and I can be overheard saying how chaotic the morning was going. This was before all 5 grandchildren and it was just 2 young ones and 1 one newborn. For all accounts, I thought it was quiet and calm compared to the couch jumping, squealing, and screaming Christmas mornings we now embrace. Blane even zooms the camera in at one point to me rubbing my forehead saying through gritted teeth, “Can we please just turn off the video!” I laugh at that young mom now. She had no idea what real chaos would look like in a matter of years. Now fast forward….
Happy Birthday to Me…
I woke up this morning to my 6 year old kissing me on the forehead saying, “Happy Birthday Mommy. You are the best Mommy in the whole world”. It was magical, my heart swelled like the Grinch to 2x its size. I laid there thinking about maybe I hadn’t been such a bad mommy after all and what an amazing boy he was and what a great man he will one day be. Then my 9 year old daughter walks into the bedroom and kisses my forehead and says, “Happy Birthday Mommy”. My heart swells even more. Cooper then pulls her aside and a lot of heated whispering begins to take place back and forth between the two. It ended with a remark from Parker, “Oh and you’re the best Mommy ever”. Cooper proceeds to tell me that Daddy told them to tell me that but Parker had forgot. I could feel the air slowly being released from the balloon as my heart fizzled back down to size. I tried to justify that at least they were obedient and followed their Daddy’s instructions.
37. 37? 37!
I am questioning how that happened! I am now at an age that I can remember my mom being the same age. I asked her last night, “What were you doing 37 years ago today?” I was anticipating this heart felt moment of “ah, I remember when” but instead she responded, “I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning”.
It’s strange to get older. I am the “baby” of the family and at times the younger one in my group of friends; therefore, I get the comment so often, “but you’re so young” and then brushed off like I am still 15. I wonder at what age do you feel like you are “old enough”. And have I missed it?’
I always find myself caught in between the when do I grow up and the why is it going so fast? I stare at myself in the mirror and think, “how did this happen?” Wrinkles at my eyes from smiling and laughing is understandable and even welcomed most days as it shows me the fun we have had, the deep wrinkles on my forehead in between my eyes from giving the mommy look of disapproval one too many times is most likely unavoidable. But what I was not prepared for and not one girlfriend, sister or mom warned me about…the wrinkled cleavage. Yup, that’s right. I leaned into the mirror last night while brushing my teeth and I saw someone else’s reflection when I saw the wrinkled cleavage. There was no warning, no preparation and no words of encouragement at that time. Happy Birthday to me!
I suppose like most things, it’s all relative. You think you may be getting older but then you look back at pictures and think, “I was so young, if only I had realized”. Same goes with every other female voice in our heads fighting for attention like you’re fat, should you be going out in that outfit, bangs…really?, maybe it’s time to color the grays, you are looking so much older, and on and on and on. In reality though, when you look back at pictures, you realize just how wrong those voices were and you think, “if only I realized I wasn’t as heavy as I thought, old as I thought, chaotic as I thought and on and on and on”.
It is hard to see the forest through the trees when you set up camp right in the middle of it.
I am sure there are those reading my blog right now that are older and you may be shaking your head and possibly giggling that I am even contemplating this at 37. For all accounts, it’s still very young unless of course, you are in your 20s and reading this blog. I have been reminded this week that age is a gift that not many people are given. I watched as a friend said goodbye to her Dad unexpectedly this week and my heart aches for her more than ever.
The following video sums it up perfectly. How do we see ourselves? Chances are it’s nowhere near as wonderful, young, and vibrant as others see and experience us. Today I choose to quiet the voices in my head and remind myself that age is just a number and one day I will wish to come back to this time of simplicity and youth. I wonder if that young mom from the video of Christmas pasts realized just how good she had it at the time and I even wonder if this 37 year old mom realizes the same truth before it’s passes her by.
If you are anything like me, you may want to grab a tissue before you watch it!