This Tuesday is my birthday. Four decades, plus a few years more, I have been experiencing life. As with most people, my priorities have shifted along the way.
I remember that somewhere around my thirty-fourth birthday, I started thinking about a lifetime without children. I began to picture the older years. We would be reading the Sunday newspaper, walking the dogs, drinking coffee while it was still hot and enjoying cocktails while they were still chilled. We would hopefully have enjoyed rewarding careers and done a bit of traveling. No doubt, we would be spending time with family and friends.
I know it would have been a really nice life; however, around thirty-five, the aching started. I usually ignored it.
I convinced myself that being a teacher would be enough. I got to make a lasting impression on many children and then, at the end of the day, I would come home, drink a glass of wine and chuckle about the heartfelt things that they said. My sister would be the one with the children. She would be the one with the stroller, the diapers, and the chaotic schedule. I would be the one having weekends away in Bed and Breakfasts, spending too much money on the extras, and going to fancy restaurants.
Around thirty-six, I knew that it wasn’t going to be enough. I wanted the stroller and the chaotic schedule. I wanted to have that tiny little hand squeezing my fingers as he or she looked at me while I fed them. I wanted to have the bedtime routine and the love, so much love. I wanted to be a mom.
When I was thirty-eight years old, I suddenly became the mother to an infant boy. He continues to be my greatest gift. I am so lucky to be his mama and knowing him now, makes it impossible to imagine my life without him. Yes, sometimes I miss the quiet, tidy life but I wouldn’t trade it, despite the challenges!
Now that I have experienced a few more birthdays and I have an eight year old boy. I think about the future birthdays, but the attention switches to his birthdays. What will he be like when he is ten? How will he look and act when he is thirteen? Who will he love when he is twenty-one?
This week, we celebrate me; but like most moms, my focus will always be on my greatest gift. 🙂