Whenever I picture my childhood, I see my mom in her thirties. I don’t see her younger or older, just that magical thirty-something that most kids remember. And now, after all these years, I am her! How did this happen? And where has the time gone?
I love my thirties so much. I was not sad to see my twenties go. Not even a little bit. I love being a thirty-something. It is everything I imagined, and I cannot imagine anything better. And yes, I am sure when I get to my forties, it will be better. But this is where I am. And on the eve of my thirty-fifth birthday, I do not want it to end.
I had an entire decade of adulthood (my twenties) to watch others, and learn. I watched marriages and mommies, grandmas and working professionals all around me. I took time, as I worked on developing myself, to find the best parts in others’ lives…especially the wives and mothers…so that I could implement them into my own family one day. I think that is one reason I love being the errand running, minivan driving, mom of seven that I am. I feel like I do a really good job at keeping the house clean and humming. I do a great job at learning time with the kids. I am fairly fanatical about alone time with Adam.
But there are things I am not so good at. I really really suck at sticking to a weekly menu. I really need to hang my own clothes up more. But who wants to do that after folding seven loads of kid clothes every week. :) I could be a better friend to some, and give more space to others. I could be softer in disciplining the children, and myself.
But mostly, I still struggle with the personal pursuits I have tabled to be a mom. They are not sacrifices I resent or even necessarily wish I was doing instead of mommying most days. They are just things that I think about sometimes…like now, as I approach a milestone birthday of sorts.
1. I really want to pursue another degree someday. Maybe a second Bachelor’s in History, or a Masters in Sustainable Development, or even just some extra structured learning opportunities that are just for me.
2. I really really want to write a book. I have so many ideas, and so little time. I suppose this is something I can do w/o compromising my commitment to homeschooling etc. but projects like this are always more consuming than we imagine. I am afraid I would lose myself in it, and neglect the children.
3. I miss traveling so much. And I often fantasize of running away and teaching internationally again. Not because I want to escape my kids, but because it is a passion that is a part of me, and I miss it. Adam and I were millimeters away from committing to teaching overseas a few years ago. Instead, we pursued his MBA, and that decision has blessed our life without question. I still fantasize though.
Maybe one day we will take a trip around the world with our gaggle of children and write a book about it. That would be the best of both worlds. Adam could do the photography. I could do the writing. And the kids would be the meat of the show. Hmm! Now my thoughts are really churning.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be a meltdown-free birthday. Best. Present. Ever.