Friday, March 25, 2011

Turning Adult

When my alarm went off at 6:20am Matt had just finished his after-work shower and was heading to bed. He wished me a good morning and a happy birthday and I wished him a good "night's" rest. It's definitely a new kind of normal to have our lives so seperated, especially on special days.

With nine years of marriage behind us, and four lovely children growing before us I suppose it is time that I leave behind the "young adulthood" of my twenties and enter "real adulthood" now. Matt's life and mine could not stop today to steal away for a weekend's getaway to Chicago complete with dinner at a fondue restaurant to mark the occasion, but it is nice to know that at least we both would still like that. After all the trials we've been through, I guess that's an accomplishment.

"Guh morn-in'!" Toby chimed as I cracked the kids' door to rustle them from sleep. "Good morning!" I answered, "Toby, today is Mommy's birthday!" He grinned then asked, "Eat cake?" And when I affirmed that we would, indeed, be eating cake, he grinned again, "Tastes good!"

So I turned 30 while I hurried the kids out to the van and dropped Emma at speech preschool. I turned 30 while I lugged the other three kids through the aisles of Wal-Mart and Meijer, stocking our pantry for another week. I turned 30 while I cooked lunch...again, and cleaned up dishes...again, and ran a homeschool...again. I turned 30 while I packed Matt's lunch and mixed his coffee and kissed him good-bye as he hurried out the door...again.

And what did I receive this birthday? Waking in a house inhabited by my family alone (the best gift my husband could have given me this birthday), four grinning children greeting me with loud "Happy Birthday"s, a three year old who was ecstatic to be going to school, three other kids who were ecstatic that I took the time to let them ride the penny horse ride at the grocery store, the security of seeing my husband get up and work again today and knowing we would have what we needed, a new CD, and two bouquets of flowers.

There were cards for me in the mailbox at noon, phone calls with birthday wishes, and all-day Facebook birthday greetings. And there was a little impromptu party. We mixed a cake together and the girls thought I should decorate it with a Mommy who had four kids. We shared some giggles as it took shape before us, and Toby reminded us with all the elegance of a caveman, "Eat cake! Tastes good!"

Matt's sister and her husband and their three kids came by for dinner and cake, and my mother-in-law dropped by as a surprise too. Matt even called on his break just as they were beginning to sing Happy Birthday to me, so he joined in on speaker phone. I was surrounded by many who love me as I turned 30, and who could want more than that?

Besides, Hannah's face was adorable as she wrinkled up her nose at the Sprite in her cup. "This stuff's full of frizzle!" she complained.

And yes, I laughed as I opened the girls' pile of homemade presents. Naomi had thoughtfully cut squares of computer paper and taped them together into a useful notepad. She had also created an elaborate card in the shape of a girl for me. Hannah had cut out the figure of a boy from blue construction paper and named him "Tom" (because it is a name she knows how to spell); designed a picture with H and M (for Hannah and Mommy) surrounded by hearts; taped strips of paper together to form a necklace and bracelet for me; created a construction paper birthday cake; and drawn a picture of me walking up a hill in the sunshine. I haven't opened Emma's present yet and a few more from Hannah--we're saving some to open with Daddy tomorrow.

Thank you to all who visited, called, sent cards, and left Facebook greetings. You lifted my spirits and stepped me off on a thankful foot as I enter "real" adulthood.

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