I think it’s kind of funny that my daughters still don’t have names on this blog. I think I know why. I think it has something to do with me not really knowing what role I’d like for them to play in my online life. Or it could just be that feeling I get sometimes that not giving them names will make it easier for them to easily escape into anonymity, should they wish, likely as teenagers, from any of my memories of this time in our lives. I’m not sure what it is, but for now, they have no names.
So, without names, I should say that this post is about my oldest daughter. Let’s call her “princess.” It’s was her birthday yesterday, but she thought her birthday already happened four days ago. It was my birthday then. I tried explaining this as we blew out the candles on my cake, but she didn’t want to get it. “It’s not!” she said. “Uh, well, your birthday is three days from now. It’s my birthday today,” I said, fully aware that such conversations with a then almost three year old are rather pointless. “No! It’s not!” she said again. “Okay. Okay. It’s your birthday, too.” “No! It’s my birthday!” “Okay…it’s YOUR birthday.” And that ended that.
So, yesterday was her birthday really. And it was her sister’s birthday, too. Or, at least that’s what she (named “Princess” in this post) said. So, this week has been just a big birthday for us all.
I often do sentimental like posts on birthdays, posts listing all of the ways the birthday child has changed me. I usually offer some of the quirky things that they are doing at that particular age and end with an endearing “Love, Mom.” But, I really don’t want to do that this time.
Sometimes when I talk about how wonderful and life changing motherhood has been for me, I imagine that there are childless women or men at some odd place in their lives or careers who see my writings and think, “Wow! Maybe having kids is what I needed to do all along!” This probably doesn’t happen, but in my head it does. And I always want to write but never do end up writing to these possible readers that that’s not what I’m trying to say!
I think whether you have children or not, you can find purpose in your life and do anything wonderful that you imagine for youself.
I think to get to where we want to go but aren’t for whatever reasons, there has to be a defining moment, a moment in your lives in which you lose parts of yourself that you once valued as defining who you thought we were. It’s in these moments that we can see things more clearly. There has to be a moment when we can look at our egos, the mistakes we’ve made, and be willing to “make our lives work in the ways we want them to work.”
Motherhood was my moment. But it’s not the only kind of moment to have!
Giving birth three days after the last birthday that could ever really be selfishly mine to regret, long, and be sad over was my moment. Three years later, that girl I gave birth to has continued to give me reason to think about who I am, who I was, who I want to be, and what matters.
She was the first to teach me patience, humility, and grace and that lipstick is “pretty” because it is.
She was the first moment I had in my life to want to aspire (and my throat is tightening as I write this) to live better, more confidently and assuredly. I owe so much to my first born, (I said this wouldn’t be a sentimental post!) and that’s why I just spent almost two hours this morning on Pinterest looking for birthday crafts that I know would “force” me into Hobby Lobby often. That’s why I sometimes do cry when I think about this life we have together and why I don’t have a name on this blog for her yet. *sigh. And I promised my sister I would never sigh online or write long posts on this blog. But…that’s why.
So, to my three year old I wish the world and happiness. Happy Birthday.
Love, Mom (I had to say this out of tradition. lol).