I turned 35 on Tuesday.
This is the first year I’m not surprised by my age. I feel like I’m sort of owning 35: this is me, this is my husband, these are my children, this is my life. And 35 suits this stage that I’m in.
For the past couple of years I’ve gotten really greedy with my birthday. It started two years ago when my birthday fell on a Friday, so that next day--Saturday, when everyone was home--I made them do everything I wanted, which means we walked a nature trail in Wichita, we ate where I chose, and I probably drank a lot of coffee.
This past Saturday I commandeered the entire day again. We slept reeeaalllly late, ate at Beijing, went to the Wichita Art Museum (it’s free on Saturdays!), stopped for coffee and treats before heading home. A perfect day with my family.
So going into Tuesday, the actual anniversary of my birth, did not feel too special. Monday night I did not feel the eager anticipation that is the usual precursor to my birthday; I’d already celebrated, each member of my family would be at work or at school for at least part of the day. My birthday DAY did not feel like that big of a deal.
But my kids made it special. That morning I woke up G and Little Missy, and when Little Missy rolled over and looked at me with tired eyes from her loft bed the first thing out of her mouth was to tell me to go back to bed. I obliged, knowing they were up to something cute, and maybe five minutes later they hollered that I could come to the kitchen.
I found them with tea and coffee brewing for me. G had hot tea and quickly added honey after asking if I liked it; Little Missy had started the coffee pot. So I sat and drank my hot tea before getting up to fill my coffee cup, to which Little Missy jumped up and said, “You don’t have to do that, Mommy!” before serving me herself.
It was a little thing they did, but they are little people, and when I was their age I was never so considerate. Not that I would have turned down the suggestion to make my mom tea in the morning, but I would not have thought about it. My little sweeties thought of it, made a plan together, and implemented it. They are too good to be mine.
Later, after dropping off Baby Chickadee at school, I drove to Wichita for a free cup of coffee, but mostly to be out of my house and in my head. And on that drive I feel like God really grabbed hold of my heart, squeezed it and helped me to see how precious this little life of mine is: a husband who makes me laugh and challenges me, children who love me desperately in spite of me being me, family and friends who take the time to message me.
Page 2 of 2 - I could not have seen the sweetness with such color if not for my Savior. He forced me to block out the stresses I bury my head in of finances and relationships and to-do lists and helped me see that is all peripheral; I have what I need. I have Jesus as my Savior, I have lots of people in my life that I love and who love me in return.
So, here’s to 35. I’m praying God keep me in the perspective He gave me Tuesday this entire year.
Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three. She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.