I cant believe I have been on this journey called motherhood for 5 years now. That is longer than I was in college, longer than anything else I have ever committed myself to (except my marriage, of course!).
Hayden, my firstborn, stole my heart 5 years ago and I still do not have it back. I never will. There was NOTHING in this world like holding him for the very first time, my very first moments as mom. My life was forever changed in an instant. My heart is forever mush.
It's amazing how over these 5 years so much has changed yet so much is still the same. He has grown from baby to toddler to kid, gone from unintelligible babbler to super articulator, from picky eater to super eater, the list goes on...but he has always, from the moment he was born, been a wide-eyed, intense little guy; active and aggressive yet sensitive and sweet. Social, extroverted, curious, talkative, outgoing and slightly mischievous - he has always been these things. Our challenges in parenting him have come with his countless attempts, some being quite intelligent and strategic for his age, to wield control in situations, to gain the upper hand and prove himself as victor in the battle to be in charge. It is also difficult to keep up with his endless energy, respond creatively to his 101 questions a day about everything from why God made all the planets to why we have toes and get him to FINALLY lay his head down and go to sleep at the end of the day. He never wants to miss a thing. One of the most grievous things in his life at this moment is the inequity of parents being allowed to stay up later than kids. He loves trains, airplanes, tractors, boats, race cars, motorcycles, toyotas, baseball, gymnastics, swimming and helping take care of his baby sister. His excitement and enthusiasm about all these things and more make experiencing life with him so enjoyable. I treasure being able to discover and explore with him. While motherhood in general is making me feel old, Hayden's unadulterated passion sends a fresh spirit of youthfulness through my soul. Try as I may, words will never describe my immense love for him, my firstborn, my Hayden James.
Here's the birthday boy upon receiving his gift. A BIG thank you to Grandma and Grandpa and Mimi and Papa!!!
And THANK YOU Grandpa for the awesome shirts and sweatshirt. LOVE the firing itish!!
Phew. We will always remember Brian's 30th b-day no matter how hard we may try to forget certain moments
.....crying (and almost hyperventilating) at the check-in counter in the airport begging the Southwest lady to get us home before the 5:00 when the surprise party was to begin.
Our trouble began when we arrived at a crowded John Wayne airport a generous 60 min before our flight (waiting at the gate is so overrated) with 5 suitcases, 2 car seats and one huge, 5 ft long box containing Hayden's birthday present - a 10 ft trampoline. The man we purchased the tramp from assured us it was about 80 lbs. Being deficient in our ability to judge weight ourselves, we assumed he was correct and that we could check the big box on the plane and just have to pay the oversize fee of 50$. No problem. After waving goodbye to our luggage and car seats as they disappeared from the carousel into airport oblivion, we learned the box really weighed 150 lbs, and would not be allowed on the plane. We frantically tried to separate the contents of the box into 2 packages (without Hayden figuring out what it was) to get them on the plane in the few minutes we had before our plane was to leave but to no avail....we were too late. The real bad news came when we learned that all other flights leaving OC that day were overbooked and there was no way we could go home. EXTREMELY distressed, (poor Brian was quite confused by my seemingly over-reactionary behavior but figures I have been known to be a little freaky these days.) I convinced the check-in lady to re-route us to L.A. and book us boarding passes there, convinced my equally distressed parents to caravan us up to L.A. (we didn't fit in one car) and tried to convince Brian of some good reason as to why I was acting so weird (without telling him there was going to be a houseful of people waiting to yell 'surprise' at him in a few hours.). All was well again until I realized that our car seats were already on their way to Sac and being that the kids had to ride in my dad's convertible, I was not about to let them ride without them! After frantically working that mess out (thank you, Ryan!) we arrived in L.A. and had 3 lovely hours of waiting with 3 very bored kids. Luckily we ran into Blake Griffin, formerly unknown to me, some fancy NBA draft pic, which added some excitement to our terrible day. Brian, in a star-struck stupor, asks him "so, you guys going somewhere?" Maybe he thought NBA stars just hang out in airports for fun! He let us take a picture with him after Brian tried to make it sound like it was Hayden who was the one interested in him. I think Hayden blew the cover when he said "dad, what's a professional?"
If further effort to redeem the day, I asked the steward on the plane to sing a southwest happy birthday to the boys and he obliged. The rest of the evening was a blast. Thanks to all those who came and celebrated with us.
I feel old. I am wondering if turning 29 is almost worse than turning 30. Here at 29, I am feeling all kinds of pressure to do certain things, figure out who I am and how I really want to live before the dreaded day arrives. The words "only one more year" keep ringing in my ears. It's almost as if my life is going to end at 30. I have this (what I hope to be) false idea in my head that youth ends at 30 when, in reality, I will not be surprised if I actually feel younger a year from now. In this present season I feel as though life has taken a baseball bat and hit me over the head with it a few times (I may have enough blue-ish purple color underneath my eyes to prove it!). I am always tired, my brian is on hiatus, I have no personal space anymore, my hair is falling out by the handfuls (thanks hormones!) and I pee when I run.
I think part of the reason I feel this pressure to get myself together this year is because I look to my 30's as hopefully being more consistent, even, less "all over the place" for lack of a better term. In my 20's I really have been all over the place - physically (SoCal, NorCal; North America, South America), emotionally (pregnant, not; pregnant, not; pregnant, not), AND mentally (loosing brian cells by the baby!-starting businesses here and there!). I look forward to things being more of the same (I cant believe I just said that!). Something tells me that I am in for a disappointing reality check that no matter how hard you work to figure things out (like how to best arrange the car seats in the car, how to get places on time, how to plan summer activities without making your family go insane - any thoughts on that one are appreciated, I am currently failing AGAIN!) you are always one step behind because as soon as you do, things change (kid grows out of car seat and now needs a new one in a new spot, things keep starting earlier and earlier and summer is over and holidays are here AHHH !). Will there ever be an equilibrium here in the land of motherhood??? Someone please tell me there is. I have always been good at 'going with the flow', so to speak, and have never been too terribly adverse to change but this is just getting to be too much. 30's save me! It's no wonder they tell you it goes by fast. It's hard to really feel present somewhere, someplace in time, when your head is spinning so fast. I even went to the eye doctor because the chaos in my brian makes me feel like I cant see, can't focus. Ironically, my eye sight has actually improved. Ha!
Anyway, maybe I am feeling this way because I am still just adjusting to having 3 kids. I just fear I will never stop having to adjust. If that is the case, I guess I'll survive. In fact, I may even be better for it - always desperate for the Lord's strength and always humbled by my inability to keep it together. Yes, now that I think about it, that is probably the better way to live. I only wish the Beatitudes were more explicit and said something like "blessed is the sad mom who is disorganized, frazzled, sleep deprived and slightly neurotic, SHE will inherit the earth."