I almost forgot my birthday was even coming up. I dropped no hints or “casual” reminders. Maybe everyone will be so busy with their own things they’ll forget. And if I don’t mark the day, does it even count?
But, I know I’d be sad if no one remembered—because whether we admit it or not, don’t we all want at least a little recognition?
Well, it turned out my family didn’t forget and in fact, they planned a wonderfully thoughtful day from beginning to end. A low-key, but perfect birthday spent in the embrace of my family. Starting with church (what better way to celebrate, especially since I helped serve communion) and ending with dinner at my parents (including the most delicious birthday cake ever). In between was a homemade breakfast, cards, flowers from a friend, a few calls, a trip to Target and the present I’d been hoping for—a brand new, lime green iPod nano (perfectly matching my lime green car!).
I take for granted the amazing blessing I have in my family, my children and my husband who offer unconditional love and a safe haven from a world I often find confusing and unwelcoming. Being able to pause and savor each little act of love they gave me yesterday fills my heart to overflowing. Their simple gestures are priceless treasures.
Whether or not I admit to getting older, there’s no hiding the fact my children are. At 14 and 11, my little ones are no longer little. I delight in who they’re becoming, but mourn the passing of time that will soon take them away from me and into their own lives.
Last night as we sat around the dinner table at my parents’ house and said grace, in each hand I held one of my children’s. Where had the time gone? Gone were the little hands that grasped mine to cross the street, that reached up for me to scoop them in my arms, that diligently worked to dress a doll or build a tower of blocks, that scribbled their name with big fat crayons.
On my right I held my daughter’s soft, slender hand whose long fingers play the violin and baked and decorated my birthday cake. That write poetry, text with lightning speed, work algebraic equations, apply makeup and select outfits with a keen eye for fashion.
On my left, providing a sharp contrast, I held my son’s big, strong hands. Hands that play the drums, catch a football, wrestle, shoot baskets, carry heavy loads, build six-foot tall K-nex roller coasters, write wonderful stories and give the best hugs in the world.
I soaked in the moment, an unexpected present of mothering. And I thanked God for the gifts of this day.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
~ Psalm 139:13-14