I’ve been composing this all day (in my head). Today I turned 35 years old.
When my husband asked me what I wanted a few weeks ago, without hesitation I answered him. A whole luxurious day at home, alone. Silent house. No one needing anything. Hours to spend reading, crafting, meditating, journaling, just being. I knew this was a daydream. It just isn’t possible at this point, not this year, anyhow. But, I still told him. (He ended up getting me a massage gift certificate, which is wonderful!)
It being a weekday and me being a homemaker with three kids at home all day, my birthday was not much different from any other day. You know, cat wakes me up at 4:40am to go potty outside, I get an hour of quiet time in the wee hours before the 3 year old tries to wakes up and I go put her back to sleep. Then the day begins. Usual daily chores. But I want a cake, so bake that. House is freezing and no wood chopped, so that needs to get done. 12 year old child being especially obstinate and refusing to help, thanks to my well-intentioned husband who asked him to be sure to help out today and not fight with his brother since it was my birthday. His dislike of being told what to do is the only possible explaination that my husband and I can come up with for his absolute LACK of helping today. Usually, he’s fairly good about doing his chores and getting his lessons going. Today, it was as if it was his birthday and a day off, he refused to help or listen. Exhausting.
The thing you don’t realize until you are in it, is that as a parent of young (or older stubborn) children, often your birthday just means more work. More things that need to be done, and the illusion of a relaxing day. I’m tried of single or childless people or people of older children (who’ve forgotten) asking me what I’m doing special today. Um, I’m taking care of three people, like usual, who still need me to do the usual regardless of the date on the calendar. One day, I’ll have a whole day to myself and I’ll doubtless look back and miss these days, but when you are in the trenches, it feels a little harder to appreciate and it takes much mindfullness to stay present and enjoy every second of this.
I’m so grateful for these little people in my life, and my fantastic husband. I am grateful I have had another year with them all. And I’m grateful for the opportunities my daily life presents to me to practice mindfullness, staying in the moment and surrendering.