Tuesday, November 22, 2011

just one day

I don't think much about my life before children.  I really can't imagine my life any other way and when I even allow my mind to think about what things were like before Julia and Charlie, it's like thinking in terms of prehistoric times.  It seems like they have been a part of me my whole life.
Yesterday was my birthday.  It was a day just like any other.  I got up, started the morning routine, and headed off to work.  As Julia was having a tantrum about the fact that she must wear the same pink dress every day, I thought to myself, "don't I just get a day?"  A day where I call all of the shots, where everyone cooperates, a day off from cleaning up incessant messes?  I drove to work harping on this topic.  Suddenly realized that I had about 20+ birthdays like that.  Ones that involved posh restaurants and weekends away.  Birthdays where my friends were all present and nobody had to miss out because of babysitting issues.  Dozens of years where my mom cooked me my favorite meal and always made the most delicious cake.  Halfway into my commute from work, I had convinced myself that I was missing something (a little pity party can suddenly evolve into a full fledged "I deserve this!" in no time).  Once I made it to work I had figured that I needed to have an intervention with my family.  My husband was going to have to understand that birthdays DEMAND more attention!
It's a good thing that I have a sobering job as a social worker to bring me back to reality.  By the time I made it through my through my day, I was a bit more clear headed about the important things in life.  I decided that this intervention could be toned down a bit.  On my drive home, I thought about how to make the most of the rest of my day.  If it meant cuddling on the couch with my little ones, I was content with that.
Well...I walked into my house and was greeted by my very eager toddler who had made me a card.  Not just any card, it was the most beautiful and special handmade card that I've ever received.  This was met shortly after by my husband who was in the kitchen making a meal that would surely meet the requirements for Top Chef.  Not that I was surprised, but Charlie was his content, belly-laughing self to pull it all together.  The night unfolded into this wonderful family time that I could have easily missed if I continued to measure the fun factor by the expectations from my non-parenthood days.  I mean, really, who gets serenaded by a kazoo for the birthday song?  
 Really, I guess I don't think much about my life before Charlie and Julia because I don't know that I felt things so powerfully and in such a rich way.  As we said grace before our meal we prayed for mommy's birthday and also the "squirrel with God", (yes, we pray for the roadkill in our neighborhood), which somehow a funny reminder to stay grounded.  All of it is important in its own way.
And on a side note, I actually did get my fair share of adult time.  This included a visit from my dear friend, Kate and a great dinner our with some of our closest friends (and yes, everyone secured their babysitters).  
My husband tells me that planning my birthday takes a year off of his life.  He has 364 days before he needs to worry about that again...

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