Although we’re celebrating tomorrow as a family, my birthday was on Wednesday — the magical 12-12-12. I was half expecting a money tree to sprout in the backyard or a fairy godmother to appear with a magic wand. Alas. Instead, it was a day of daring: I took my girls out for the afternoon — first to church so I could spend some reflective time in a sacred space, then to a favorite Neapolitan pizza place for our first mama-daughters lunch date. We stopped at a chocolate shop and a grocery store and then hit the playground. I was determined to make my day a little special with them, and it all went super well — yay!
The one request I have on my birthday — even if I’m not officially celebrating that day — is to not have to make dinner. So Wednesday was a perfect time to accept a friend’s offer to order us a takeout meal — a great gift for a new mom on her birthday! Celebrations actually began on Sunday when I enjoyed my first girls’ gathering — brunch with a handful of local friends. B likes to joke that I don’t have a birthday, I have a birthday octave, and it’s true: At this time of year, it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time, so celebrations end up staggered. Who’s complaining?
This is an extra special birthday — my first as a mom. It was also a kind of marker: B and I decided earlier this year that, if we didn’t have an adoption referral by my birthday/this Christmas, we’d seriously consider moving on to a different plan for our lives. And now, here we are, with two little Ethiopian girls running around our house.
I’ve written a few thoughts about being an older mom in the past. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to start parenting so late, but I’m looking on the bright side: I’m wiser, I’m more relaxed about life in general, and raising these two little girls will keep me young. So, I refuse to lament being an older mom when being a mom at all is a gift no woman should take for granted.
When I turned 40, I realized I had a few options as to how I was going to approach my advancing birthdays — especially when each one would be bringing new lines, more gray hairs, muscles that don’t stay taut, and shadows where there was once only sunshine. I knew I could do one of three things: ignore my birthdays, complain about them (and dream of gift certificates to medi-spas), or celebrate them with gusto. I’ve chosen the latter. (Though, for the record, I’ll never turn down a good spa treatment.) The way I see it, not everyone gets to make it this far, and I have so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is the secret to a happy life, and there are many blessings that come with age (even if one is not a desire to hang more mirrors around the house).
I’m looking forward to sharing some fun time with B and the girls tomorrow. How about you — any special plans for the weekend? (Besides holiday prep, of course.) Here are a few links I found for you this week…
- First, my latest book review in Real Simple.
- Five great board games that teach kids geography.
- Underground food market shuts down, but inspires other creative ideas.
- This is definitely getting made over the Christmas holidays.
- And don’t forget to enter Wednesday’s giveaway for Homestead Emporium products!
Image: Zoe Saint-Paul