I haven’t counted down to a birthday since I was a kid. In fact, there have been years I didn’t even celebrate. My birthday was basically wiped off the calendar eight years ago. That’s because my middle child was born on the 24th of April. My birthday is the 23rd. I don’t mind. What grown adult doesn’t want a Batman cake? Actually, contrary to popular belief, I do not think I am that important.
This year is different. I have less than thirty days left in my thirties. I am going to be ff-, fff-, ffff- I am not ready to say it. Everyone keeps telling me, “This is the new 30!” My stomach and forehead beg to differ. Sure, if you have the right doctor you can still look 30.
Honestly, my issue isn’t about the number or sagging skin, but what the age signifies. This phase of my life is over. My uterus is out of order. Caput! Burned out. That sucker is off the clock. I won’t have another baby. In fact, mine will head off to college in a few years. I woke him up for school yesterday, his long legs dangling off the edge of the bed. How could this be? We just bought that bed.
Where the hell was I when he grew up? Fifteen years went by too fast. Forgive me for speaking in cliches, but I wish I knew then what I know now. I would tell my 30-year-old self to appreciate each moment instead of waiting for the next one. Don’t complain about the mess. The laundry can wait. Who needs matching socks anyway? Leave the dishes in the sink or be a tree huggers worst nightmare and use paper plates. Crumble up the to-do list and breathe. Well, except when changing a diaper. Close your eyes and hear their laughter. Play. Play with them and listen when they talk to you. It will be very hard after an hour of playing Barbies or when they tell stories that don’t make any damn sense, but really listen. You can log online later to see what Sally ate for lunch. Besides, she is totally using a filter to make her pb&j look like a gourmet sandwich.
I would also tell myself to write everything down. Keep a journal of the moments with your child that made you laugh and cry because the memories will fade. Hell, you won’t remember why you went in the kitchen, seconds after you walked into the kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want another baby. I just want to freeze time because I am not ready to let go. Don’t push me Elsa. My therapist says I don’t have to do anything until I am ready.
“It will be the best decade of your life,” said my best friend. I am sure it will be good, but the best thing I did in this life was become a mother.