Happy UnBirthday

Another year, another birthday has passed. My birthday has never been a favorite day for me. I feel a sense of urgency to hurry up and make my life better. Lose the weight, be more present, get more sleep, declutter the house, etc. and do it all right now. Time is passing by and what in the hell do I have to show for it? What would my children and friends say about me and my life if I died today?

My grandpa also died on my birthday when I was 20 years old. We didn’t have a close relationship but my grandma (GG) and I are extremely close. She was so sad that he had died and at the same time pissed at him for dying on my birthday. GG didn’t want me to always have that memory.

Growing up, my birthday felt more like a burden than a blessing. Almost like some unexpected home repair that my parents had no interest in repairing or no means to do so. Actually, there were 2 birthdays that I truly believe my parents forget. I was turning 9 and then when I turned 14. No acknowledgment that I was born what so ever. I did, however, have one birthday party that I remember. I was turning 5 yrs old and it was a Burger King birthday party. This is the first time ( and only time) I remember waking up and being so excited that it was my birthday! I invited my entire kindergarten class and was so happy that kids showed up.

We had just moved back from North Carolina. My mom decided to move back and leave my dad in the middle of the night. My dad came looking for us and they worked things out. They have now been severely unhappily married for almost 39 years. This was the first ” I am leaving your Dad” memory that I can recall of several talks of separation, divorce and moving. Sorry, I digress…

Anyways, I am guessing ( now that I am a parent) that the famous Burger King birthday party was a way to distract me from the shit show that was/is my parents marriage. A nice distraction for the short blonde girl who had a southern twain that knew no one and was obsessed with Rainbow Bright.

Birthdays feel like New Years Ever to me. So much pressure to have a good time. Somehow a life changing event that occurs within 24 hrs. Usually it just feels like a shitty Monday to me but with extra pressure to fill the birthday void of the previous 30 some years. Questions of ” What did you do? What did you get?” give me anxiety. Its just another day to me but sometimes someone gets me a cake.

And I guess a shitty Monday is better with cake anyways.

To the lady sitting on the rocks at the lake today…

Thank you. There is no doubt in my mind that you were not placed there by God.

” How old is he?”

He turned 3 at the end of June.

“He reminds me so much of my son who is 32 now”

Soft smile appears on my face.

G: ” Can I take off my shoes and socks momma?”

Sure, sweetie.

“Being a mom is probably the toughest job I have ever had. It is still hard and my son now has a 4 month old daughter. I still worry about him all the time. Being a mom is also the best job I have ever had too”

Still a soft smile.

G. ” Mom- LOOK at dat big rock! Can I throw’d it in the water?”

Of course.

“He is just so adorable. I bet he has a lot of energy!”

Giggles. YEP! He is literally running from the time he gets up until the time he goes to sleep.

G. ” Mom- Can we go over here and look for bigger rocks to throw?”

Yes.

” Enjoy this age. I know you have probably heard that before but truly, it goes by so fast. I worked so much while my son was young. He also had asthma so many of the times I had with him was giving him breathing treatments and making sure he was ok but you know what? He still remembers me sitting or laying with him during those treatments. He thanks me for all that I did for him when I really didn’t think he would even remember. I know so much feels up in the air and out of control but you are giving him everything that he needs. ”

That right there. THAT is what I needed to hear from this very kind perfect stranger today…” You are giving him everything that he needs”.

G has been in a sleep cycle from hell the past few months but especially the past 4 weeks. The nap is no longer. The bedtime is a fight. We are up with him multiple times a night and then he awakes at 6am ready to tackle the day. He is all go until about 4:30pm when as I like to say ” The Wheels on the Bus are falling off”. This is also the time that M usually starts her homework. The time between 4pm-7pm is intense. G is just delirious and M is wanting /deserves some attention as she has been at school all day long. Getting dinner made and on the table feels like the biggest accomplishment. And by dinner, as of late, I am talking cereal, toast, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Nothing that requires more than 3 minutes of a prep time because my attention is solely on G making sure he is keeping his hands to himself and redirecting is overtired little body.

This lack of sleep and crankiness (from all of us) feels like we have a newborn again. After 4pm, I feel trapped in the house. Not wanting to leave because the glazed look on his face and the knowledge that he can snap at anytime. It’s hard enough dealing with this, let alone having an audience. ¬†Often, I feel like I am a in a big dark hole trying to dig my way out. Running has not happened as much as I would like it too because I am not able to wake up at 4am once I have already been woken up at 12am, 1:30am, 3am and then 6am. ¬† The days are so very long.

In the silence of the night, I pray ,mediate and breath. I ask God to place it on my heart what G needs from me. What can I do differently? What am I forgetting?

Just hearing ” You are giving him everything that he needs” gave me the refocus that I needed to have a little more patience with him ( and myself) today .

I am sure this is just a phase and will be a blip on the radar for I, one day soon, will be the lady sitting on the rocks at the lake, marveling at a 3 year old boy and his overtired mom.