Sunday, July 9, 2017

Birthday Girl

On this, the eve of my 44th Birthday, I reflect on living another year. I am grateful to be where I am in life; having had the experiences I've had (good and bad). But I wonder what my life would be like had I chosen to live it for myself instead of for others. I have been a mother my entire adult life (also a prison wife) and that leaves very little room for me.

It may sound silly but sometimes I feel like I still have some growing up to do. I haven't done a lot of things that other people my age have done; international travel, going 'away' to college (I was a commuter), living alone, having a wedding, or gone to a musical, just to name a few. However, I can happily say that I HAVE; purchased a home or two, raised (ing) five children, gotten an education and also learned a ton about managing Type 1 Diabetes (my son has it).

The other day I saw a meme that said, "adulting is hard!" and I chuckled to myself. As my daughter's wedding day approaches I realize that the advice I can give her comes from informed guesses and borrowed experiences. I haven't lived a married life in the traditional sense. I never shopped or even tried on a wedding dress. I have never taken a trip with my husband, much less a honeymoon. So when she asks my opinion on these matters, I've got nothing. Ignorance is bliss until your kid asks you for help and you have no knowledge on the subject. Thank goodness for the internet!!

Part of me is naive about domestic life. I have the fortune of not having to rush home from work to an awaiting husband. I get to tackle most chores whenever I have time. I have the choice of taking the kids to the playground instead of cooking dinner. "We can grab something on the way home," I figure. My time is dedicated to my kids to the point that I hardly ever spend time alone.

The other part of me is painfully aware of my responsibilities.  I have to do the work of two parents. I get to be the disciplinarian and the fun parent, the Jane of all trades, the nurturer and the teacher. During trying times I lament not having my partner here. Even simple tasks like cutting the grass (which I detest) have to be put off if something else needs attention inside the house. I delegate jobs to the teenagers, but 'cmon, who are we kidding? Whenever they are free from their numerous extra-curricular activities, their skills are best put to use babysitting the younger kids so then I can take care of business.

The silver lining? Everyday brings me closer to having my husband home. Each new day is an opportunity to be the best role-model I can be. Also, to reflect on and learn from my mistakes. I get to see my children grow and take on new roles at school, home and in the community. Age has made me more bold and less concerned with other people's opinions. I appreciate the small things more, like a good cup of coffee. 44, bring it ON!!!!

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