Yesterday I turned 30! It’s kind of surreal and completely believable at the same time. On the one hand I can’t believe I’ve been alive for thirty whole years, on the other hand, I sometimes feel much older than thirty. I will be sad to never be able to say again that I’m in my twenties, but the gray hairs growing faster than I can pull them and the extremely dark circles under my eyes give me away as an aging woman. Which, by the way, it still feels weird to say “woman.” Am I really old enough to be called that yet? However, I also feel very young considering that most of my friends are older than me, I’ve always gravitated toward older people.
Life has been moving faster than I even guessed it could. These years of having little ones in my home are slipping by at an alarming rate! In a year my youngest will be in Kindergarten and then I don’t know what I will do with myself! I’ve looked forward to being a mother my whole life, valuing motherhood above all else. And in my youth it seemed like the time I would have children in my home would take up the majority of my adult life. And now that I’m in the thick of it, realizing that I’ll be an empty nester at age 44 and that it will in fact be a relatively short chapter of my life. I’ll still have half my life left to live! This really saddens me as I’ve always wanted a big family and I wanted this phase of having little ones in the home to last much longer. My heart still longs for more children, but I’ve had to hand over my will to God and let him navigate these uncharted waters for me. I trust Him. I know that if there are more children meant for me, He will let me know and lead me to them along whatever path I may find them.
However, my kids keep it real by reminding me how full my hands are! Full of blessings, full of joy, and kept busy. I’m so grateful to be doing the work of God by raising His children. This is my life’s work and I love it.
Sometimes, though, I cannot believe the trouble my boys make and how quickly they can overturn the clean house into a post-apocalyptic war zone! Dumping out every one of their baskets of toys, ripping the bedding off every bed in the house and covering the couches, tables, chairs, (all of our living space in a small apartment), to make the best fort ever that’s really a rocket headed for the farthest reaches of the universe. I mistakenly thought that the older they got the more responsible they would become. On the contrary, the older they get, the more able they are to get up on the counters to get out the permanent markers from the top shelf and then cover their bodies in it. All in just a couple minutes. Or open the frozen orange juice concentrate, make it themselves in my nice white ceramic pitcher I like to use for decoration, set it on my upholstered chair as it’s at an ideal level, and then proceed to pour a cup for themselves, managing to get a little in the cup, and a lot on the upholstered chair! And what, might you ask, was I doing during these moments? Well, I might have been taking a short shower for example, under the delusion that they were quietly watching a movie. They know when to strike 🙂 I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though. As hard and as crazy as it sometimes gets, they ARE my world, and I can’t imagine life without them.
Their creative minds astound me, and it’s actually my favorite thing about raising them, but it does get them into trouble once in a while. The older they get the more they are getting minds of their own which is what is naturally supposed to happen. I do want them to be independent, be strong thinkers and motivated to do the things they dream of doing. But it also means they want less of Mom’s opinion on what they should be doing and what they can and can’t do. I’m finding this phase of my life more exhausting than their baby years, during which they were both extremely fussy and colicky! At least I could pick them up and lay them down for naps back then! This morning I heard my six year old listening to a movie on the tablet that he found on youtube. He’s reading and writing very little, so I didn’t think he’d have written out “Happily N’Ever After 2” by himself. And then he showed me this little microphone button near the search bar which allowed him to just speak what he wanted to find and it would record his words and search for it! I didn’t even know about this! I’m totally behind my six year old in technology!
Their fighting is the thing that I handle the least well. My Mom’s advice is what helps me feel like their squabbles are ok. She tells me not to worry, because this is what helps kids learn conflict resolution and interpersonal relationship skills. So someday I’ll be grateful they fought as kids? Ok, I guess someday is better than never. My sister and I fought worse than any kids I know when we were little, though, and now we’re best friends, so I know there’s hope. When my kids are getting along, and jabbering to each other about their pretend play, or talking to each other way past bed time in their bunk beds, I see their love for each other and I feel so happy to have adopted our youngest and given them both the gift of brotherhood. As long as they love each other then the other stuff fades quickly into the background as hardly worth mentioning.
I feel that my thirties are going to be my best yet and I’m excited to see what beautiful things might find me in the future. Having these two rug rats to cuddle with, watch them grow and learn, kiss my cheeks, and say the sweetest things I’ve ever heard makes it all so worth it and I’m so blessed to be able to enjoy their company.
Here’s a selfie, I’m not a selfie taking person. I think I prefer the out of focus pictures of myself 🙂 I do really like the abstractness of this one though. My oldest really wanted to brush out my curly hair. And since he may never ask this again, I let him. These two next pictures my six year old took. He wanted to brush out my hair, and then he wanted to take a picture. I didn’t have any make up on, so it’s a very honest look at me. I really don’t like myself in photos and I’ve been hanging on to these since February, too nervous to share them. But since I’m 30 I guess it’s about time to come to grips with myself and just get over my insecurities. Life is too short and I don’t want to spend any more time worrying about it. I didn’t even know he was taking this first one as I was looking in the mirror. He was standing behind me on the bed and shot it over my shoulder. I didn’t find it until later and I’m really proud of him! So I want these to be more about him and his photography than about me. I think he’s really got a good eye! I just asked him if he remembered taking these and he said, “Uh-huh! I took them JUST. FOR. YOU!” See what I mean? The sweetness, it makes everything not only worth it, but is everything I live for.