It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so I thought, “What better way to celebrate than alerting everyone that it’s my birthday?”
I’m actually using my birthday present from my husband, a nap and a free afternoon to work, to write this. I felt like Kelly Kapor from The Office being tucked in as everyone backed out of the room for such a magic occasion as a middle-of-the-afternoon nap. Thankfully, I wasn’t woken up by Dwight Shrute with a pair of cymbals ringing in my ears. Instead of getting right back to “mommy work,” I was also informed that I have a few hours free. Yes, I was given the ultimate gift, or at least the gift than any mom would love to have - a nap AND free time.
So while I recover from the grogginess that always comes with an unexpected siesta, I’m going to ramble about how awesome 35 really is. If my husband thought I’d use this time to clean the house, well, his mistake. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
The day that I turned 30, five short years ago, I turned off my phone as soon as I woke up, ignored social media, and told my husband not to mention my birthday. I felt old. HAHAHAHA! That’s crazy, I know, but that’s how I felt.
Let me explain.
I had my first son a few months prior, so sleep wasn’t happening at the length that any man would be able to handle. I was on my second round of mastitis, lugging out the breast pump too many times a day since my son didn’t latch. I was a mommy machine. I had no idea how I was going to return to my classroom in the next few weeks. It seemed impossible. I also found my first gray hair and had to sell my beloved sports car, both moments I blame on my first born and always will. If he would like to repay me one day by buying me an old classic muscle car, I would not hesitate to snatch it up, but in no uncertain terms is he allowed to buy, drive, or stand near one for the rest of his life. I’ve read that Hondas get great crash test ratings, so that’s what he should drive, always under the speed limit.
At the end of that day, I finally plugged back in, heard and read all the well wishes, and had a good cry.
Now, five years later, that makes me laugh.
What a silly mess I was! Honestly though, I think we all have to hit that moment before we turn around and decide, “Ahhhhh, who give a s#*&?!” I will tell you that right now I am drinking iced tea out of a wine glass because 1.) I don’t want to wash two glasses later on and I know I’ll be drinking a glass of wine this evening and 2.) it makes me feel classy. And there lies that fantastic part of growing older. Slowly but surely, I’m leaving behind that awful adolescent fear of what other people think of me. Not 100%, but as I look around at the older people around me, I secretly hope that I make it to at least 90 because of the things I can say and get away with.
In the last five years I have quit a job that I loved when someone made it miserable. It was a completely insane time in my life but so very important. I was lucky enough to find a job where I made more money, loved my coworkers, and had an amazing boss. I scrimped and saved like any regular joe tightwad would do - for no reason - then found my reason after becoming pregnant again and deciding, “Well, you only live once, so might as well live day in and day out snuggling babies and tickling the pee out of your children while you can.” Even though I loved my new job, and would still need a job once my kids were older, I risked the anger of a great employer to jump ship after a year. I learned that great employers don’t get mad. They wish you luck and keep in contact to make sure you’ll come back when you’re ready.
My time at home became less about snuggles and tickling and more about wiping butts and dealing with other gross things that little boys think are cool, but it’s been the greatest time of my life. Not only am I a mom, but I’m an avid volunteer, which is really the most stressful but reaffirming thing someone can do with their life. A plus about volunteering as a mom, you can take your kids with you everywhere. You are a volunteer, so no one is going to complain if you drag your kids along with you. You are in high demand, so they’ll take you in a heartbeat, along with your screaming toddler and super inquisitive preschooler.
In the last five years I have also almost entirely removed myself from helping around the farm. I’m usually only asked to water sheep or calves that are near the house, house a dying calf or lamb in my kitchen for their last few hours, or answer questions like “Should I do ‘this or that’ on the farm?” which I always have no answer for. This will pass as the kids get older and won’t need constant supervision, but then again, won’t they be big enough to help my husband instead?
I have also recently started a little bitty, small business. I saw something that was needed and said, “I can do that,” and I did. Do I make lots of money? Nope. Am I having fun? Heck yeah. More importantly, am I helping people? Yes.
It’s amazing how awesome getting older can be. Yes, sometimes you have more worries, more responsibilities, but I feel like I’m slowly becoming the new Evelyn from Fried Green Tomatoes when, after taking her parking spot, two young women say snarkily, “Face it lady, we’re younger and faster!” and after she rear ends their car multiple times to their horror, she says, “Face it girls, I’m older and have more insurance!”
I know I sound braggy, but life is pretty good, and it’s my birthday, so bare with me. I’m a lucky, lucky, lucky lady, and not everyone can say that. I have two beautiful boys, a great husband, a great life, and like Evelyn, some insurance. For all my English teacher friends, if I get hit by a truck tomorrow, feel free to use this as an example of irony in your classrooms. I approve.
So everyone together now, “Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you….”
No, okay, that’s cool. :)