Happy Birthday to Me?
This is my birthday week. On Sunday February 23, 2014, I will turn 47. Yesterday while walking Charlie through the ice and sort-of melting snow and rain, I realized that I will have lived through 47 winters, 47 summers, 47 falls and 47 springs, but every year I still forget what it feels like when it stops being cold or when it stops being hot. If you want to put a positive spin on it, you could say that I experience the youthful excitement of the unknown every single year – or you could be more like me and think, “What’s up with that? Am I crazy?”
There are so many more important than the weather things on my mind this week of my birth, but I feel like the seasons in me are changing every single second. With the thought of a birthday, I have also realized that while I have had 47 of them, I still think the date sounds special when I hear it, the day feels unlike any other day even when nothing is going on or I get a flat tire like I did last year – or was it the year before? I still wish for birthday cards that no one sends anymore, still hope all 300 of my Facebook friends write pithy messages, and I still hope to have cake and presents. I still really wish I could see my parents because I miss them so very much ( perhaps, I am realizing this very second as my tears just appeared out of nowhere, that I might be a bit sadder than I let on about this one.) The truth is, the birthday is just a a pain in the neck for Hun as to go out of his way to make plans and I end up feeling like I am being needy.
Last night, Hun declared that he figures we are 60% through parenting young children. He came up with this mathematical calculations to make me feel better about being exhausted, overwhelmed, and tired of waking up every night with a boy who still thinks that sleeping or not sleeping is a multiple choice question. Instead of making me feel better, I am now filled with dread for the 60% that I have used. Yesterday Max declared, as if he were just telling me the time of day, that I am a “shrill control freak.” I suppose it would be funny coming from a 10 year old if it weren’t so damn true. Later that night he said, while we were reading, that he likes to count my wrinkles. A week or two ago, he wanted to act out the scene of himself picking up a girl in the mall (Yes, he is extremely imaginative) and told me to walk by and “pretend to be pretty.” Ok, I’ll pretend…
Two days earlier, Sophie was being chided by Max for not being compassionate enough to his ills. She replied, “Well, I’m at least as compassionate as Mom.” Implying for those of you who can’t read between the lines, Mom is not exactly compassionate.
If I have reached the 60% mark of parenting – I seem to be doing it wrinkled, not pretty, with a lack of compassion, shrill and controlling. Parenting was the only thing in life that matters and all my life thought I would be really good at – and not because I was some crafty, cook-y earth mother- but because I thought I had my shit together and could teach others how to be just like me (!)- I only have 40% more time to get my life right. Editors note – this is my blog and I can say what I want and even if you want to disagree with me or try to make me feel better, you are not allowed.
I feel like after 47 years, I should better at everything. Instead, and perhaps because I am ripe for a mid-life crisis, I want everything to be different. While I am blessed beyond measure for Hun and my children, I want my home to somewhere else, I want my body to look different, I want my work to be different, I want my bank account to be bigger, I want my surroundings to be different, I want my abilities to be different, and I want my thoughts to be different. I have read enough to know that supposedly a person can change the things she doesn’t like, but I think it be easier if I were a man and I could just date a 20 year old and buy a red sports car.
Truthfully, there really is something to this mid-life crises even if I have come to it 10% too late. I am at a point where time feels limited and if I don’t do it right now, I will never get another chance. I still behave like this is practice for when I live my real life – the one with my house in the country, my books on the New York Times bestseller list, my homemade jam that my children would actually eat, my yoga body and friends and family around the giant farmhouse table every weekend. But, as I am about to turn 47 and walking the dog through the melting snow and ice, the chances for those things feel about 60% over.