Wow. It’s been awhile. I’ve been off trying to earn a living, parenting and figuring how not to get committed to an insane asylum before my hormones even out. They do that, eventually, right? Yesterday I kinda thought a nice stay in…wherever they put menopausal women without good health insurance…might be restful and, therefore welcome. If the asylum has a jetted tub, it could even be, you know, preferable to where I’m staying now.
But I digress. What I really what to say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all you older moms of young children. And many happy returns. You’re tearing up right now, aren’t you? It’s okay, we toohotmamas understand completely. Like us, you probably haven’t had a birthday since you were forty-one or had your first child, whichever came first. When you have young children, forty-one to fifty are the birthday-less years. Last October, my husband was working out of town, and I didn’t even realize it was my birthday until my 6-year old handed me a wrinkled sheet of typing paper with HAPY BUTHDAY MOM written on it (and on the tablecloth) in red Sharpie.
This year, she’s a very aware second-grader, my husband was home, and they both wrote nice notes. My daughter wrapped every single thing I ever bought her and re-gifted me, making sure I opened each present under her watchful eye. (She took back the ones she liked, but I still have the broken squirrel jaw that was a science project.) Then she said to me, “What do you want to do today, Mom?”
“You know what I’d really like, honey?” I replied, “I’d like to finish painting and organizing your room. It could be a family project.”
Taking my face in her firm little hands, she looked at me with a surprisingly mature mix of compassion and disgust.
“Mom,” she insisted, “IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY. Birthdays are not for painting or fixing up rooms. Birthdays are for YOU. What do YOU want to do?”
I was touched. I was moved. I was gratified. I was about to answer, but then she added, “So can Kate come over now for a play date?”
Oh, well. Maybe next year. In the meantime, I’m diggin’ the look of that squirrel jaw on my nightstand.
What have your kids given you for your birthday???