Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy birthday to me.

Not often does parenthood feel bathed in a rosy glow of nostalgic joy.  Often, it's loud, squabbling over light-sabers, and involves stepping on LEGO blocks and the ever-present faint smell of urine. 

There, I said it.

Parental joy comes in the punctuation marks of long, complicated sentences.  A sweet sibling gesture between offspring.  Andrew's truly gifted ability to give hugs.  A life lesson you've drilled into your child for 1,347 times finally surfacing (aaaaah, the relief).  Or those triumphant milestone minutes, like learning how to pump their own legs on the swing.

But certain times, like tonight, there really is a warm, hazy gleam to being a mom.  Not the one that has to take the long-view, but the one that is cozily nestled into *this* moment in front of me.  

My dad took the boys to the drive-in tonight, not really related to my birthday.  My birthday was low-key, since Steve is gone until Saturday night.  We'll do something on Sunday.  Simone and a 2AM movie finish sounded like a disaster, so I convinced her to stay home and watch something with me. 

Of course, she wanted the pinkest movie we could find at Redbox.  I'm seeing a trend with her.

We sat on the couch, mother and daughter, splitting the last piece of blueberry tart and watching Barbie.  She talked non-stop, and I (for once) had the time and patience to answer nearly all of her questions.  I wasn't trying to shuffle between kiddos or move over laundry or other tasks.  I was just present with her.

I have to tell you, I have a super awesome little girl.  She is curious and kind and articulate and FUNNY.  Goodness, she's funny.  I couldn't believe what a great time I was having.

I tucked her into bed, in the glow of the swan night-light I got from Aunt Dorothy....and snuggled her up with the teddy bear Steve gave me in college.  It was right from the lyrics of the Kenny Loggins song I used to listen to during my pregnancies, imagining what it might be like to watch my future babies fall asleep. 

The BEST gift life has given me...birthday or no the chance to be a part of this family.  My husband, whom I love more each day.  These kids who take my breath away on a daily basis.  A mom whose love transcends death.  And a dad who will give 110% to help with whatever we need, whether it's reading to grandbabies or helping clean out my Sienna.  

With love like this in my life, I can't think of a single birthday gift I need.