Yesterday was my birthday. Now I’m not going to share with you my age, I’m not that old, but you don’t need to know exactly how old or young I am. I cannot tell a lie this year was harder for me than any of the others. I think in part b/c my only baby girl also graduates this year. My oldest, is I think pretty much transitioned into adulthood, he is struggling financially but managing, he is holding down a full time job for over six months and officially doesn’t live at home. I think all of these things added up to why this birthday, not even a milestone birthday, was a harder one than usual for me.
I am not one of those that needs to have a national holiday for my birthday, or celebrates all month long, but I lost both of my parents at what I consider a young age; my mom at 47 and my father at 52, so I do tend to see birthdays as a blessing. This year however, I have two grey hairs that keep mocking me, no seriously one is constantly standing up on the top of my head as if to say, hey do you see me? And I am just having a hard time accepting my daughter is graduating high school, she will be taking the reins of her own future in her hands. It’s a hard transition for me. As of June fifty percent of my children will be officially in the world’s eyes at least, an adult. That alone makes me sound old.
On the morning of my birthday, my husband and I got up and went for a run. It felt great, and I was even more excited b/c my husband went with me, this is not something we often do together. My youngest woke up and the first thing he did was give me a hug and wish me a happy birthday. My daughter had the day off of school so she offered to babysit the younger two children, and my husband took the day off of work, as if my birthday was a national holiday to him. Man did I feel special. We didn’t do anything over the top, but what we did do, was enjoy the day together. We just causally wondered around and enjoyed life. I came home and had cake and ice cream with my children, the oldest, b/c he holds down a full time job, face timed me, but that in itself is a blessing, is it not? I ended my birthday with a great dinner with just my husband, and ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. I had texts all day long and had some of the sweetest things said about me by the wonderful people I am blessed to call friends, most of who I have actually know for twenty years or more. To say this was a good birthday would actually be an understatement.
While at Barnes and Noble, yes this is my idea of a great birthday hang out, I not only read a book where the author lost her mother suddenly to a brain aneurysm when she was young, but later lost her husband at the age of 26 to a heart attack. I overheard the ladies at the coffee shop talking about the neighbor who had just passed, and the other gentleman from her church who had just buried his wife. It was a gentle reminder of how I have earned those grey hairs. It was a reminder that all of life is a transition and to be alive and moving forward means there will be change, there will be years of distance and years of closeness. This is what it is to be alive.
Remember during those infant days of no sleep, this too shall pass. The toddler days of toys everywhere, and tantrums, this is but a moment in time. This is not to demean those stressful days where all you want to do is sob, or to demean the days when you feel spent, its meant as an encouragement to remind you that one day you will look back on those days as the quick days. This is to remind you that there will soon enough in your future be another transition. Hang in there mom and when you just want to crawl under your covers, or hang towels on all of your mirrors so you can’t see the grey hair peeking through, or the circles under your eyes that stare back taunting you, you have earned those circles. Those circles represent your love for your children, they represent the unselfishness of being a mother. Those grey hairs were earned. You have been blessed with many days and many memories and those grey hairs are like glitter to remind you that you are alive and have made a difference in many lives.
Remember this too shall pass, and it is but just a moment, and that to be alive and to celebrate another year, is in itself a blessing.