Welp, I'm middle-aged, y'all. And argue if you want, but 35 counts as middle-aged. This has been the first time IN MY WHOLE LIFE that I was not excited about my birthday. Not because of the 35 thing- psshh; I'm not that without perspective.
I have been bummed out lately, in a bit of a depressive slump. Life has been tiring and humbling, and I think I've just plain forgotten about a dozen times every day that I'm truly safe and loved. I've been wrestling with which problems are mine to attack, to try to fix, and which ones are best just accepted. All the problems need to be laid down everyday to God of the Universe to handle.
But I was pretty much a little black rain cloud for one reason: Brendan had to leave town last night thus missing my favorite day of the year and Ezra's birthday too (tomorrow). Now, listen: I realize that I'm a huge baby, and I want to give full props and credit to everyone who solo parents for whatever reason, whenever. I BOW TO YOU!
Last night after a stressful, rush-hour drive through traffic that included a low-fuel panic and gas station stop (sheesh!), we dropped my best friend off at the airport to go conduct technical interviews in Scottsdale. I realized right then that whatever whiney complaints or serious, reasonable complaints I could ever have about my spouse (we will get back to the word spouse in a minute...), I just love him and will never, ever quit. The gift of marriage to Brendan is not lost on me.
I woke up this morning to a little girl asking to bring me breakfast in bed (which I declined because MESS) and a toddler fit over why it wasn't his birthday instead of mine because he wants "a new Lightning MAH-queen that is THIS BIG." My older sons were sweet. I packed us all in the car to go get the one essential birthday ingredient for all happiness and satisfaction: chocolate cake from Honey Bear Bakery in Lake Forest Park. I'm thrilled to say: our mission was a success, and by the time we were rolling down to Vacation Bible School for me to be Commander Corona (hence the spacesuit) for the morning I was feeling truly cheerful for the first time in a while.
I love doing VBS. It's my best costume/performance/ham-it-up opportunity of the year because kids are THE BEST audience ever, and I get to communicate the things that matter most to me to the people who matter the most to me. It's a privilege and an absolute joy each day! I was really excited to bring in chocolate cake to share with my fellow volunteers (at least the ones who made it in time!).
In the parking lot, before I was even out of the car, one of my favorite ten year olds sang me Happy Birthday. Then one of my favorite co-mamas handed me flowers, a gift, and a card. Then more kids hugged me, more friends hugged me, and my children ran off to do what they should. I delivered my cake to our staff snack table, and I loved telling people to come eat it! And I got more flowers and more love, and I felt like a spoiled not-brat. I wanted to feel guilty for receiving love for a second, but I'm done with that (being middle-aged has it's benefits!). I enjoyed being enjoyed. THEN, they announced my birthday in the big assembly, and everyone sang to me. I took the opportunity to dance like a fool and again LOVED IT.
So, all this to say: my friends and community are such treasures. I love you all very much. My very best Brendan is away, but this morning might turn out to be one of my favorite birthday memories.
A final bit of hilarity to leave you...
One of our VBS songs lists the ten commandments and includes the lines: "Don't be a louse. Be faithful to your spouse." One of my children came to me and sheepishly said, "Isn't that song inappropriate? Isn't a 'spouse' a husband or wife that you have sex with?" Yep. Yep, it hopefully is.
With that, I'm off to freeze ice for my microwave essential oil extractor so that I can process my lavender flowers (NERD ALERT). I'm going to make sure I have good birthday wine available for bedtime later (for me. not the kids. that's what melatonin is for). And I'm going to snuggle up with my children to zone out in front of the TV for a couple hours. Tonight we'll be running in the froggie/turtle fountain at U.Village and eating gummies even though we already had cake. I'm a middle-aged woman with an embarrassment of riches. Thank you for being my readers and friends <3