I find myself avoiding my birthday, not wanting to think about it, but it’s slowly creeping up on me. I noticed a change in my response towards my birthday last year. It started when I asked my birthday coordinator at work to please not celebrate my birthday. I didn’t quite know how to explain the change when all of my life I’ve looked forward and waited anxiously for my darn day. I didn’t understand why the thought of getting a year older was suddenly a big deal to me. All of a sudden, it bothered me knowing I was going forward in time instead of staying where I was, or even going backward. I found myself wanting to stop time to indulge in all of the goodness that exists NOW. I found myself (and still find myself) afraid of moving forward in hopes of forever holding onto who and what makes me happy, indefinitely.
A couple of days ago, I had a little bit of an emotional momma breakdown (not a meltdown, a breakdown). I cried to Josh and just let my emotions flow. It was here that I found my explanation to why I feel sad knowing that my birthday is approaching.
Have you ever had your heart feel like a diaper that’s overdue for a change except the poop is “love”? I know this is a crazy and possibly a gross analogy, but that’s the most tangible way I can describe it. The diaper is the type that falls straight to the bottom of the trash because of how heavy it is. (Parents/caretakers, you know what I’m talking about.) My heart is swollen with love, and it seems like it is especially heavy with love during this time, around my birthday. I seem to be extra sensitive to the thoughts of my parenting years rushing by me. What’s the hurry? Seriously?! I have pictures of Little Nugget as a baby displayed all over my work space, and usually they make me smile or laugh, but at the moment, I find myself with tears in my eyes and questions of why life passes us by so fast. I think this is why I find myself avoiding my birthday, because of these emotions and questions. I’m not sad because I’m getting older, but because I’m getting older. It’s one of those situations where you stand on the border of loving something or hating it.
“Being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do.” – Davie, my midwife
“I love my boys so much I fear my heart will explode. I wonder if this love will crack open my chest and split me in half. It is crazy, this love.” – Amy Poehler
I read these quotes the same day of my breakdown and they couldn’t have struck a more sensitive heart string. I can relate to them any day of the year now that I’m a mom, but with my birthday coming up, these quotes just have me scurrying to find a way to pause time.
We’re living on a very short timeline, and this makes me so sad. It hurts my heart to know that my child is getting older alongside me. I try not to think of it this way, and for the majority of the year I don’t, but my birthday just brings a sense of urgency, almost like a yearly awakening to the reality of it all. I promise that I usually see this concept as beautiful. I see it as an opportunity that many don’t have a chance to enjoy, an indescribable blessing. My birthday is the exception, I guess. I’m working on changing this.
After hearing me out, Josh couldn’t have said it better, “See it as the price we have to pay for having children.” Maybe something like a mortgage on our children? Going into parenthood, I knew that Little Nugget would not be “MINE”, I’m only borrowing him from God. I’ve been entrusted to raise him, nurture him, love him forever and always. I just know that I’ll never fully understand why we have such a short amount of time with our children. A lifetime with our children and all of our loved ones is simply not enough. Don’t get me wrong, gosh darn it I am extremely grateful and humbled that God chose me to be a mother to Little Nugget. However, seeing Little Nugget vacuum our apartment on his own, take himself to the restroom on his own, and carry a conversation with me is so darn bittersweet. Like that egg that sat on the wall, I ,too, sit trying to keep a balance of seeing the beauty without having a complete meltdown. I want more time darn it!
I apologize for all the sadness, for the unusual pessimism. The reality of it all is I appreciate every second of my life and writing what I feel always helps me out. It helps me reflect on the positives of the situation and work through the “negatives”. So, what have I learned from this textual therapy session? Well, I owe it to my mother who gave birth to me to celebrate the discomfort she went through to bring me to life. I owe it to Little Nugget, my better half, and everyone who cares for me to be excited about another year of me being around. I owe it to myself to celebrate my every breath and make it all about me at least once a year. And most importantly, I owe it to God to enjoy my day as he has made it my divine right to BE.
Cheers to another year of love, life, health, success, obstacles, faith, and wisdom!