Thirty. T-H-I-R-T-Y. 3-0! (Indulge me, I don’t do this very often anymore.)
How can that be? I was (almost) 30 when I had you! Which means you have been hanging around for almost half my life! From here on in I will have lived in a Janaworld longer than a Janaless one.
Thank goodness. For I could not imagine a day without you in my life. That smile. That laugh. That eye roll. The way you only have to give me a look across the room that says it all. You ground me. And parent me back. Tricky. And yet you still lean when you need to. And I love that just as much.
When I set out to start a family, I never thought about this part very much. Who does? You think babies and toddlers and teens. But the part about growing full humans who become the people you most want to be with? I doubt that crosses the mind of many young parents.
So here we are. And I marvel everyday at your courage. Your strength. Your persistence. Your sense … way more sense than I ever had at your age. (Or maybe even now, for that matter.) You know your mind and you hold fast to what you believe in. That is a gift. Don’t ever doubt your gut, we both know it is the wisest voice of all.
Mothers and daughters. That can be one crazy roller coaster. But for us, it is like we are the eye of the hurricane. We hold tight in the middle of all the chaos, and step out into it together when we want to have some fun. Hold tight to that feeling … the one where you take the risks but keep a cool head when the unexpected happens. That is where all the good stuff happens.
Here’s to the next decade. May you continue to know how to pivot with grace. May your dreams come true. And when they don’t, know I will always be right here to catch you when you fall.
LU2 Petunes. More than life itself. Happy Birthday.
I’ve been writing these birthday posts for an awfully long time. This one is extra special as you are now the age I was when I became pregnant with you. No, this is not a hint. I am fully aware you are not even prepared to have a fish. And that is just fine with me. I am OK with you keeping your eye on your own yoga mat.
This has been quite a year for you. Getting married… in between four Nor’easters! Your grandmother would have said that was good luck. (Then again, she told your dad that when a bird pooped on him 2 days before our wedding). All those snowstorms were nothing compared to everything that we have navigated surrounding your wedding. But with all the life challenges we faced, you stood in the center of the hurricane and kept your cool. Your grace and joy in the process was contagious.
I sit back on the other side of this year and think, sure the wedding was a blast. And it was everything you wanted it to be. But it was the moments planning it together that truly mattered. I got to watch how you move in the world. How you conduct yourself. How people both respect you and want to be around you. You make all those that love you the best version of themselves.
Me included. Big time. We have begun the shift of parenting where you teach me. And remind me what is most important in life (not to mention how you rock a google doc and always make the dinner reservations).
There are pivotal moments for a mom where she has to learn to let go, but still strike the balance of holding on for dear life. I thank you for being just the right amount of independent while still having the humility to ask for guidance.
I love us, Petunes. More than I can ever say. Thanks for being the daughter I know I can count on no matter what.
Oh, and Happy Birthday! May this year be as spectacular as the last.
Get ready for some really ridiculous posts. This weekend my mom and I are on a road trip. I told her we would be like Thelma and Louise. I thought it was funny until we were stuck in our 4th traffic jam on I-95 in as many hours and she told me she was going to take out a gun and shoot herself in the head. “Mom? Did you actually take me seriously and bring a gun on this trip?” I figured this one was going to be kind of hard to explain. Luckily she was only kidding.
We decided to take this trip to suburban Boston to visit my aunt (her sister) and my cousin who is like my sister. This is a very special trip as the 2 sisters have not seen each other in 5 years!
Dinner was a riot as we reminisced about our past and brought up names and stories of people long gone. Ok, who remembers Nana and Poppa’s phone number? Bang! We all recited it as if we had just called them. As my friend Joyce would say, “Just don’t ask us what we had for breakfast or what our kids’ names are.”
The most bizarre memory of the night was that of ‘The Mangler’. (my brother is going to love this as I believe it was housed in his bedroom for many of his formative years). Now wait till you hear what this thing is. It was a machine used to iron. It had knee pedals and you fed the clothing through the hot metal roller to press them. Yeh, I know, sounds like the perfect item to keep in a toddler’s room, right? And the name Mangler? Well, if you fed you fingers into that sucker instead of the clothing…
Hello Mrs. Z, this is social services! Yes, we were wondering why you thought it was ok to have this piece of equipment in the room of your young child.
Never! Remember this was the late 50s/early 60s. The era when you not only did not wear seatbelts but you let the kids hang out in the back of the station wagon on long car rides – without seats, let alone belts! When pregnant women smoked and drank coffee and lines like, “go play in traffic” were uttered when kids complained they were bored.
I find it rather funny that the helicopter generation was raised by the what the hell generation.
All kidding aside, my childhood memories are great ones. We always felt loved and secure. There was always family around and we had a lot of laughs. Right and wrong were not so hard to distinguish. None of parents wanted to be cool; or be our friends. They were our parents, and if we screwed up, we paid for it.
And no, not with the Mangler!
Filed under family, humor, moms