Sunday, March 25, 2012

Simply Sunday: My Birthday

Well, it's official. I'm another year older and it was a wonderful birthday.
Can I just say AGAIN how wonderful my family is?
Big Daddy treated me to a wonderful dinner out and my kids were very good to me.
Every year I get the best homemade cards from them and to me, they are treasures. A lot of our kids are boys, so they don't tend to be all mushy and gushy like us girls. But when they make me a card, they always try their best to communicate what they are feeling. It's such a special treat and I keep every single one. 

Having birthdays in the middle of your life is an interesting thing.
On most days, in my confused brain, I still feel like I'm 18. 
My memories from growing up are still so vivid in my mind, and those moments don't seem as far away as they really are.

It's strange.
Emotionally and mentally, I don't feel 44. Some will laugh at that. But, I just don't. Not that I know what 44 should feel like. But, I thought that when I hit my 40's, I would have it all figured out. Because when I was growing up, the people in their 40's had EVERYTHING figured out! They were perfect in my eyes! 

Now I'm here and I see how ridiculously untrue that is.

While there are many things I'm still working on, there ARE SOME things that I've figured out.

My childhood myth: I planned my life. I knew where I would live, how many kids I would have, had my list of the PERFECT qualifications that my husband would have, and just KNEW that I would have the perfect life and that everything would go according to plan. 
My Reality: Life really, honestly is what you make it. It's not perfect. Things don't always go the way you plan them. And you have to be flexible, patient and accepting of your life to really be happy with it. There are really hard things that we'll go through. And I've learned that with each hard thing, I am a stronger, better person. I've learned to really be grateful that my life didn't turn out exactly how I planned as a child. It's so much better.

My Childhood Myth: I think I really almost believed that money grew on trees. I had awesome parents, who had 10 kids, and I don't remember doing without the things that were most important. If we needed something, it was there!
My Reality: As I got older, I realized that there was no magic money tree, but magical parents who made every sacrifice necessary to take care of the family they loved. And I love them for that. I WISH money grew on trees. But, I'm also surprised at what we can actually do without. It's been an amazing experience to have this many kids. Very difficult at times as we try to meet everyone's needs, but they ask for so very little. We have learned that wordly things don't bring happiness. But, these nine kids sure do.

My Childhood Myth: That I would marry a perfect man and that I would be a perfect wife. We would be in love, and live happily ever after.
My Reality: Well, I didn't marry a perfect man, but he is perfect for me. I am also not the perfect wife. But, I believe that I am perfect for him. We make each other better. We make each other stronger. And we make each other happy. But it is hard work. It's a choice we both make every day. Marriage is definitely work. It's requires constant focus and effort. But, I do still believe that I will live happily ever after.

My Childhood Myth: To be as valuable as others, I needed to be as skinny, have the best clothes, be as pretty as them, sing as well as them, be as smart, etc. etc. etc.
My Reality: That I am just as valuable and as loved.....just the way I am. I'm not the skinniest, the prettiest, don't have the newest, most stylish clothes, don't do many things as well as others, and I'm definitely not the smartest. But, I really like ME. I've worked really hard to be ME. And although I have insecurities like everyone else, I'm so much more comfortable and content being just me.

My Childhood Myth: I would be the PERFECT mother. I would never lose my temper. I would have fun crafts and games ALL THE TIME, I would cook elaborate fancy meals, I would be the perfect teacher of everything good and important, my kids would be perfectly well behaved, they would think I was the COOLEST mom EVER.....all the time. And in our home you would never hear a cross word, because I, the perfect mother, would know how to solve all things.
My Reality: Well, it's just that. It's reality. There is no perfect mother. And I am no exception. But, I love the chance to try to be a really good mom. I have days where I do better than others, and other days when I feel like I totally blew it. My kids have challenges, some of which I know how to help with, and others that I have no clue. But, I try every day. And on some days it's really hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be. But, worth it. Soooo very worth it.

So, although my reality is so different than I pictured when I was growing up, it's wonderful. It's challenging, it's hard, it's filled with many things I have to struggle to figure out, but it's also really great. My life is filled with happy and joyful moments that balance everything out. If I let it. I'm grateful to have been on this earth for 44 years. It's been a crazy 44 years, and I hope I have many more. 

It's been a very happy birthday.

I'm so happy I'm here living this crazy life!!


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