Friday, July 3, 2009


Today is my birthday. I am 35. When I was a kid, I remember my brother and I having a conversation about how 35 was middle aged. Now that seems funny to me because I'm pretty sure 50 is the new middle aged, and I still feel like a kid who is playing "dress up" and "house".

It's weird to think about, but now that I'm a mom, I've discovered that it's okay to do work on your birthday. And now that I'm a wife, I've discovered that it's okay to cook your own birthday dinner and make your own birthday pie or cheesecake. Granted, we aren't celebrating until next weekend due to other scheduling commitments. But today I found myself doing dishes and laundry as if it were any normal day. Temporarily gone are the days when I lounged around all day and acted like a princess with no duties other than reading a book and eating chocolate. Things like nursing and changing diapers don't stop just because someone is turning middle aged. =)

I've been totally blessed today. My husband left me a special e-card on my computer to find this morning. A friend of mine - who just had her second child mere days ago! - called and left a sweet message and then took time to talk later. A blogging friend sent me chocolate and the coolest diaper clutch ever. The border wait was very long and hot, but despite bringing enough goods back into Canada that they could have charged me duty, they let me pass without a comment (and they were nice, which isn't always the case). My brother closest to me in age called me. And my parents are soon to be sending me a refurbished Mac to replace my aging and rather apoplectic one. It will have a built in camera so we can more easily stay connected and they can see Grasshopper's growth and latest accomplishments. And because it hasn't been dropped twice (and Lord willing, won't be), its battery will actually work without having to be plugged in all the time.

So I'm feeling loved. Now, if the cheesecake recipe I've dreamt up from my imagination turns out when I make it sometime in the next day or two, it will be perfect. (I'll let you know if it turns out. I have this vanilla/strawberry/ganache idea going on, and I think I know how to pull it off.)

But I do have a question. Does a person ever feel like a grown-up? Do they ever feel like they have a right to be sitting with adults and conversing with them as if they belonged there? I'm just wondering, because I still feel so strange in that one aspect of my life. An incredibly responsible nine year old who loves my baby spent the day with me this week to help out, and she plans to spend a day each week this summer spending time with Grasshopper so I can get work done around the house. I remember when I was her age or a little older, doing the same thing for a lady named Winona, among others I begged to allow me to help. The women who allowed me to do that are the reason I was totally fine with babycare for Grasshopper from the very beginning. They invested in my life, teaching me so much. I only hope that I was a blessing to them. It seems so surreal that now I'm the grown-up, investing in a child's life, helping her become a capable and skilled babysitter.

Anyway, that's my burning question. Do we ever grow up? Do we ever feel grown up? And is it a bad thing if we don't feel that way? I mean, is this like some sign that I've got some deep seated therapy-needing issues to work through? =) Is it possible to feel mature and be young at heart? And why is it that I feel less mature at 35 than I did at 19? Just wondering.

So this isn't a brilliant post or anything, but I just wanted to record today that I feel blessed. I am so totally imperfect and disappoint people (namely my husband) almost daily. And yet, people (especially my husband) love me and delight in me. There is a little boy sleeping in a cradle who will one day figure out how to call me mama, and he smiles a unique smile just for me. There is chocolate in my pantry and a cheesecake in my future. Yes, I am blessed. If I counted all the blessings of these 35 years, you would be reading a very long book. Life has been hard at times (even now), but it has also been very good (even now).

In other news, I survived a special test a couple days ago that involved me drinking copious amounts of really gross barium and having an IV. Hopefully, it will help the surgeon see the path of the fistula. And then we just wait to hear when I get to have my turn having surgery. It will probably be at least a two-step surgery, and I'll probably still have to see another specialist for another birth injury issue that is currently putting a serious cramp in my outdoor loving style. It's going to be a long road, but I'm hoping to be able to celebrate next year's birthday at the beach with no fear of infection or having to have indoor plumbing within a few yards walk. And hopefully, my body will one day be healed enough that we can give Grasshopper a sibling. I'm hanging in there. There are days when I fall apart, but this week has mercifully been devoid of any of those despairing moments. And for that, I am so very thankful.

Happy late Canada Day. Happy early Independence Day. =)


Kimberly said...

Happy Birthday, sweet thing! So glad you're being blessed in so many obvious ways right now - it's been a long road for you, and I'm so happy to see you enjoying aspects of the journey.

Hope today continues to be blessed and happy!

And from what I've heard, feeling grown-up is a very individual thing. My father at 55 still doesn't, though my mum, having had to raise her younger siblings, found that feeling early in life. As for myself, I catch glimmers of moments in which I feel almost like I someday might be grown-up, but such moments tend to be fleeting. I keep waiting for the camera crew to leap out and say surprise, it was all a gag, because I can't possibly be this responsible! =)

Sarah said...

Hello Gorgeous Girl and Happy Birthday! Its so good to hear you sounding lighter and happier - I think the chocolatey cheesecake idea is brilliant! Can you post a photo??

As for feeling grown up? I am 45 and I still feel like a little girl inside.At the same time I am responsible and sensible and can cope with all sorts of emergencies and so on. But I do feel odd in company sometimes and can't quite believe that others see me as a responsible adult when I feel so young and child like inside.

I remember my Granny when she was in her 70's telling me that, although her body was falling to pieces, she still felt like a 17 year old inside. I think its good to feel young and be able to have fun and a sense of humour, a sense of the ridiculous.I don't want to be old and sour and serious - well, not all the time anyway!S

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday, I've given up on my birthdays ever being special.

I certainly don't feel grown up even with having two kids. I used to think that 50 was so old too but my mom is in her early 50's and it doesn't look bad at all. It'll be nice to have grown up grandkids and grandchildren around that age.

Elise said...

Happy Birthday !