I recently had another birthday. I'm not even real sure what to say about that beyond the usual "time is passing by, I don't feel older, just another day, I guess it feels good, yadda-yadda-yadda. So, I will just share the thoughts I had the evening before my birthday, and then the day of my birthday, here, like I shared online in other places.
September 9, 2014, 10:30 p.m.
"Kissed my boys goodnight and watched them go downstairs as I realized that I'll never be this young again when I get to whisk them off to dreamland. Of course, I vow to remember and cherish each night forever...but is it that easy? Days mesh into days and moments become vague experiences.
Tonight, I need to remember how they smelled like lotion, like rambunctious, tossed in with some bedtime snacks and toothpaste. I need to remember how Shelby leans into me and gives me his left cheek to kiss, and sometimes his forehead, but rarely on the lips unless I ask, or if he really likes the sensation of a lip-kiss. I'll recall how once he kisses me, his duty for the night comes to a close and his arms raise up in a sigh as he still enjoys being carried whenever possible, though he is a lot older. And cherish that one day, without warning, carrying him will cease and I will never have gotten to say "good-bye" to that chapter in life before I realize it really is passed.
I need to remember how Ethan kisses me a couple times and repeats everything I say to him, in check-list fashion. It's the same order each time with: Night-night/"nigh-nigh-nigh", I love you/"you-you-you", Sweet dreams/"shuuh-we" -sounds sometimes like he's saying "Shelby" to me. I need to remember how he also is ready for bed and wants the same as his brother, to be swept away to dreamland in the arms of us who care for him. It is so sweet.
Then Noah, who lingers around a little, chats with me about things he's noticed recently or asks questions I'm not sure where they come from. He gingerly leans in to hug me and he is getting to feel so muscular, almost knobby, in his 14 years... not squishy like the twins anymore. And how I whisper in his ear the same sentiments, hearing his reply of "goodnight" and "you too", he shows his age-he is growing up and sentiments aren't always easy to come by. Sometimes he will tell me a couple times goodnight and others not as much. I take what I can get
Because I'm never again going to be this young, ever....this is what I'm going to hold onto tonight, forever."
September 10, 2014, 4:16 p.m.
"Today I get to celebrate birthday #35 with my grandpa, the biggest supporter I've ever had in life, rock of our family, who worked hard his whole life on our humble farm to support everyone.
It's also one of my favorite poet's birthday, Mary Oliver. So in honor of her and my grandpa, here's a poem that seems so lovely for today:"
September 10, 2014, 10:00 p.m.
"When I was a little girl, my grandpa would take me out on birthday "dates" where we would dress up and he would insist my grandma needed to buy me a corsage to wear. During harvest, as I grew older, those dates got moved back and then I'd rush out to the farm after school and jump in the combine with him. Now, we don't get to go out much at all and eat together as a family. Always, towards the end of the night, my sweet grandpa gets all reminiscent. I love that he trusts me enough to open up freely. Tonight, he told me about how he saved my life as a kid (really, I wouldn't be alive without him. Another story for another day), how he used to help me with pony rides, carry me around, about his favorite dog, and some of his funeral wishes. That last one was tough, especially today. But, I know how important it is to him and I love hearing him talk. He told me his dad used to say "you only get through life with some willpower and the hand of God."