Saturday, August 20, 2016

t h i r t y

During the very early hours of the day I turned 30 my ears were greeted with the sounds my baby stirring in her crib on the far side of the room. I got up and stumbled through the darkness to scoop her up and bring her back to bed to nurse. The best birthday gift everyone could give me right now would be a stretch of sleep longer than three hours. But with a baby cutting four teeth at once, that was a lot to hope for.  A streetlamp on our block shed just enough light for me to make out her features in the darkness, wispy hair, long lashes, a little button nose, and the chubbiest cheeks you every saw. My body ached for sleep, but I still couldn't help but smile as a little hand reached out and wrapped around my index finger. I know all too well that nothing in life is guaranteed, not another child, not even another day. So I stuffed my tiredness down, whispered "happy birthday to me," and decided to enjoy this early morning snuggle.

A couple hours later we could hear our toddler coughing in the other room. He'd had a cold the last couple days and it always seems to get worse when he's lying down. My husband was just getting up to make sure he had enough water when I heard the unmistakable sound of a child throwing up. Then we were both up, one of us comforting Johnny, and the other one changing the sheets on his bed. "So, it's going to be one of these night," I thought to myself. But it was impossible to feel mad when my three year old, who normally doesn't have to time of day to sit and cuddle with his mama, was sitting on my lap with his arm around my neck and his head against my chest. Some of the most rewarding moments of motherhood for me have been when being with mom is the only thing that comforts my babies.

Growing up we had a tradition in my family of birthday breakfast in bed. We all knew it was coming, but would stay in bed and pretend to sleep until the rest of the family came marching in with a breakfast tray, singing the birthday song. Alex and I have adopted that tradition in our own little family. But it's getting harder to execute with small children. Johnny was having such a rough night that Alex ended up sleeping in his bed with him. Trixie was a up once more during the night, and then up for good at 6:30. When Alex realized Trixie and I were awake he tried to convince me to go back to bed so he could "surprise" me with breakfast, but at that point it seemed better to just stay up.  So I wrestled two babies through two diaper changes while Alex made coffee and put together a tray of the international cookies from Whole Foods. My favorite. We had a nice little breakfast picnic on the playroom floor. Coffee that I didn't have to make always tastes better.

My parents came over to watch the kids so Alex and I could go out for dinner. We slid into a plush corner booth in a very hip lounge that my very hip younger sister recommended.  After the server had brought us our cocktails Alex leaned back and said, "It's nice to be out without kids." I agreed. I also observed that our server did not card us. When Alex and I were dating and in our early 20's we always took it as a small triumph when that happened. I was about to have a similar reaction just out of habit when I noticed her carding the much younger looking couple at the table next to us.

I'm 30. And I guess I look it.

But in all actuality, I'm really ok with being 30. Sure, the baby weight is not coming off as easily the second time around, and I may be a dress size or two larger than when I was in college. But my body has grown and birthed two humans. It's ok with me that it looks like it's done that. There are a few more life skills I think I should possess by now, like how to file our taxes, and deal with insurance stuff, and make a spread sheet. I guess that's why God gave me Alex. (Wink.) But I'm proud of the other things I've accomplished in 30 years. Staying home with my kids is challenging, but I chose it and there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. I'm happy with where I'm at and I feel comfortable in my own skin. Yup, even the looser skin.

As nice as it was to go out with Alex and have an uninterrupted meal, it was even nicer to come home to our house with our sleeping babies in it and sneak into their rooms to plant little kisses on their little heads. It's a good life, even though I know in a couple hours one, or both of them, will wake up needing me.

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday!!!! I'm sorry the kiddos weren't at their healthiest, but the snuggles sound like they were perfect and hurry for fun dates!! :) ps. as much as its a moral booster when I get carded, im always relieved I don't have to dig my card out when I'm not carded haha


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