When did I get old enough to sit in a parent-teacher conference for a 3rd grader and actually feel qualified to speak in the meeting?
When did I get old enough to cook and clean and care for a household?
When did I get old enough to be the one holding puke bags in the car for the kids and not even needing to pull over as I comfort the child throwing up on the way home?
When did I get old enough to pull out photo albums of growing up and realize my own kids don't recognize some of my favorite family members?
I have grey hairs, my joints ache if I sit too long, my "babies" are both school age and very past toddler stage.
When I think 33 I remember my own mom. I picture her moving 4 kids across states and making a new home with my dad in a very new community and culture from where we left. I remember her working and keeping house, cooking and playing with us. I am quite sure that was an eternity ago, what happened?
When I think 33 I remember my mid-20's and a friend sharing how the 30's were the best yet. I did not share that perspective. Now I see what she means.
Some moments I want to freeze time. Ty told me this week that I'm sentimental after the fact, when the moment is over or changed. In all honesty, 33 is nothing-a drop in the bucket of life. It's not a freakout moment of "oh my goodness I'm SOOOOOO old" and it's not thinking that compared to life-span that this is significant. It's more a pausing in the moment to realize how good living is. I can look backwards to what I remember as steady and unchanging and solid and want to stay there in the good sentiment of the moment and the memories. It was only the past 4-5 years that I really felt like I was past 17. Still, time keeps moving forward. I want to live well today, at 33. I want to love well today, toward my beautiful kids with wonky half grownup and half baby teeth smiles. Tomorrow those smiles may be brace-filled. Next week my own smile may reflect dentures. This life goes by in the blink of an eye. Some days being a grownup is hard work. I want to go back to being 6 and worrying if I should wear pigtails or a headband, or whether it's ok to have a certain cartoon character on my swimsuit or if I'm too old for that. Holding my babies I want to keep them babies-keep them from pain and hurt and hardships. When did I get old enough to be the one responsible for that?
But I won't get stuck in the wistful backwards glances. I will embrace 33 the way I have been embracing the other moments when I was younger. This is my life, this is abundant and full and joy-filled. It is messy and confusing and oh so painful to make hard choices. It is precious and a gift as I wake to sunrises that remind me of my place in history and time. As my little girl in long hair pulled back, teeth missing, and her own sense of fashion, "fixes" my hair and I remember doing the same to my mom, I will celebrate all that is my life. Hard days, cuddled up watching Pokemon with the kids days, working in ministry side by side with Ty days, I love this life and am thankful for another year!
Bring it on 33!