Monday, April 19, 2010

You Say It's Your Birthday

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. I realized this morning that it's been twenty years since I got my driver's license. TWENTY YEARS! How's that for making you feel old mom?

My birthday always makes me reflect on my life, kind of like my own personal New Year's. Last year I had a hard time with 35. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I'm not where I thought I would be at this point in my life. I mean I was supposed to have at least two Emmy's on my shelf by now. I really did want to be an actress when I first came out here. My problem was I was afraid if I put my dream of getting married and having kids on hold for acting, neither one would happen. Living out here you see many people still working in a restaurant at 45 never getting anywhere. Acting, relationships, kids or anything else. I didn't want to be one of those people. So I chose the husband and kids. That's not to say I can't go BACK to acting at some point. Maybe I will. I do know the one thing that has helped me most in this past year, is starting this blog. Writing these stories has made me feel like I am more than just a mom, that I am still achieving another dream I let go of years ago. The one where I was a writer. I suppose I am technically a writer. I mean I have made $100 off this site. I thank all of you who have supported me in the past year with this little venture and given me feedback. I'm also glad to have helped some of you with my stories. So in that spirit, here's how my birthday went!

I decided for my birthday that we would take the girls to play mini-golf. We haven't done that with them yet, and I thought it would be fun. Well, at least I thought it would be something we could do together outside of the house that wouldn't cost a bunch of money. My only stipulation for yesterday was that I didn't cook or clean the kitchen. I didn't care if we went out for every meal or Andy cooked and cleaned himself, I just wasn't doing it. I got that wish. Plus I got to sleep in! Until 7:45 to be exact! How lazy am I?!

Sonya was the first to wake me, running into the room with pictures she had colored and drawn. Then Andy got up with all of them to take care of the morning rituals of potty, diaper changing and milk giving. I laid in bed and watched some of my backed up DVRd shows. It was nice being alone... for a minute. That was pretty much the extent of my relaxation for the day though. They all came in around 8:30 with more cards and a present for me. Then the girls decided to play the music on the keyboard in our room and dance around, while Andy played the electronic drums. This is an event that occurs daily in our house. Usually, I'm making breakfast or cleaning when it happens, but today I relaxed and watched the girls twirl in circles around the room, giggling the whole time. It was one of those moments I wanted to bottle up and let out in about another twenty years.

Andy went and picked up breakfast for all of us at a diner down the street. No cooking, no cleaning! Then we went to play mini-golf. Now, I knew up front this was NOT going to go smoothly, but I was okay with that. I knew Georgia wouldn't really care much about it and Lana was for sure to lose interest after ten minutes, but Sonya might enjoy it. It went pretty much that exact way. Lana and G were done at about hole 3. Sonya would have played all day if we let her and she was doing really well by the end. And yes, it was a bit crazy and Lana got cranky for about half of it, but we were out as a family doing something fun. Or funish.

We went home and put Lana and Georgia down for a nap, and my grandfather, who turned 83 the day before, stopped by with a card for me. Lana wouldn't nap. That wasn't going to be good for dinner, but oh well. Later on in the day we played outside for a bit, because it was a gorgeous day. Around 4pm we headed to dinner. Gotta hit the Early Bird Specials with this group! We went to a local place that is on the kid friendly side, without being a Chuck-E-Cheese. It was going okay and then Lana started to meltdown when Andy tried to get her to taste some of the mac and cheese we ordered as an appetizer. I know-what kid doesn't like mac and cheese?? Lana. The answer is Lana. So I picked her up and took her outside where she sat on a bench for a couple minutes in "time-out", screaming. I finally got her to calm down and brought her back inside. We finished our meal in peace, and they brought a little ice cream sundae with a candle in it. The girls and Andy sang Happy Birthday to me and then they devoured the ice cream.

On the way home in the car Sonya said to me,

"Did you have a good birthday mom?"

"I did, Sonya," I told her. "Thank you."

Andy scoffed at me and said, "Good? It wasn't relaxing for you at all, and you had to deal with their craziness all day."

I just shrugged my shoulders. I mean, at least there wasn't a mess in the kitchen, so I considered that relaxing. Then I started to really think about what he said, because I had enjoyed my day, despite the fact that I was mom all day and not relaxing by myself in a spa somewhere. Don't get me wrong, I do love going to the spa, but on my birthday I wanted to be with my family. I've had a lot of birthdays where I've gotten to relax and do nothing, before having the girls and I'll have plenty more in about 15 years. However, how many birthdays am I going to have where my kids WANT to hang out with me and draw me pictures? I know I'm not going to to have a lot of birthdays doing what I got to do yesterday. This is my life right now. Early mornings, diaper changes, dancing around the house, naps or lack thereof, screaming kids on mini-golf courses and restaurants, no relaxing during the day whether it's my birthday or not. I am a mom. This is what I do. I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So why fight it? I always wanted this and even though I do need some spa days here and there, yesterday I wanted to be a family day and everything that comes with it. I know in 20 years or even 10 years when I turn 46, it won't be like this. I probably will be sitting by myself in the spa, relaxing and missing the birthdays that were anything but. That's when I'll have to open the bottled up moment of the girls twirling around and giggling in my room, and remember one of the best birthdays I ever had.


Anonymous said...

...crying... Thanks.


Kristi said...

AGAIN? Damn I really get to you don't I? That's nice to know that I evoke emotion in some people. Thanks BethAnnDoddKoehn!

Anonymous said...

I have tears in my eyes too! Exactly how I feel....
-Katie Ciccone

Megan said...

Great post sis! Very true - thanks for bringing it all back down to the basics for me.... we all need a little reminder sometime of how fortunate we are to have what we have! Happy Birthday!!

MegGivens said...

Oh tears here too! Reading your blog paralyzed with a sleeping boy on my chest thinking of everything I need to do to leave for the airport in 2 hours but now reminded to enjoy the sleeping cuddly boy. We can run around the house crazy later!