Today's my birthday. I'm 34, which means that I would need to be pregnant NOW in order to avoid the dreadful label, "Advanced Maternal Age." This means that I can only round down from forty for one more year. This means that with each passing year, it becomes more and more likely that doctors are my age, or (heavens!) younger. I shudder to think what this means to the Facebook instant-advertisers. Will it be long before they encourage me to buy Polygrip or that Rascal scooter I've had my eye on?
Thankfully, turning 34 also means next to nothing because I can think of at least 34 blessings in the time it will take for Owen to finish eating his Spaghetti-Os. On your mark, get set, go!
1. Paul. Oh, does he ever get me. He never, ever, ever interrupts when Lost is on.
2. Owen. Today, it's because when I asked him to do something, he said, "Noooo...problem." You see, he was planning to say "No," then pulled compliance out of the jaws of defiance.
3. Joel. I just want to eat his toes. That's all.
4. Health. I carry my healthy body around, and rarely appreciate it.
5. Employment. Paul's job gives me the chance to play, hope, and dream for a living.
6. My job at the college. One of my students has a 10 month old, a 3 year old, works full time, AND has a husband stationed in Iraq. She also takes three classes a week. That, my friends, is impressive. Community colleges are full of heroes.
7. My friends. Today, my friend, who has a toddler and an infant of her own, watched my two boys while I got my hair cut and eyebrows done. I lost some hair, and gained a sense of self. She is amazing.
8. My mom and dad are always in my corner.
9. My in-laws give me a soft place to fall, with the added bonus that they never dealt with me when I was 13.
10. My sister-in-law, Erin, asks the right questions at the right time.
11. My brother-in-law respectfully challenges my political ideas.
12. My brother sees the world though the lens of creativity, and challenges me to do the same.
13. My brother's girlfriend makes him happier than I have ever seen him.
14. The squirrels that leap from our deck to our fence to our trees make Owen laugh.
15. My church feeds me, challenges me, encourages me.
16. Facebook allows me to have conversations with my past and present.
17. Okay...34 is a lot. I may have to start listing items and things.
18. Revolutionary Road is one of the saddest, yet artfully written novels I have read in a long time.
19. I really like the lipstick that stays on your lips all day long without constant re-application.
20. This blog is a form of "mental scrapbooking," helping me put my children's day-to-day experiences into context.
21. Snow magically hides the ugly for awhile.
22. Lent is a time to think about what I can give because of what I have been given.
23. I'm an American, as opposed to, say, Sudanese.
24. 34 years from now, I'll only be 68.
25. Daylight Savings Time switches on Sunday, meaning that Paul will refuse to explain to the concept to me again.
26. Many of the children that were sick are now on the mend.
27. Every September 17th, I remember my first best friend's birthday, and every March 5th, she remembers mine. It may be the only contact we have all year, but it is still very cool.
28. My aunt is such a neat lady, and now she writes about her experiences in her own blog.
29. My cousin and his wife have become our friends, and Joel's godparents.
30. Goldfish crackers. Not just for the kiddos.
31. Joel lifts up his arms when he wants me to pick him up.
32. Owen reads stories out loud to himself.
33. Paul tells me I look beautiful in sweatpants.
34. I get to experience all this beauty, all of this living poetry, in this, my 34th year of life.