Milestones: Grieve and Embrace
This is a big week in our household. For starters, it is our birthday week; my husband and I have birthdays one day apart (not as fun as you would think it would be, actually – maybe in a few years we’ll hit our stride in learning how to celebrate…anywho…).
So David’s birthday is Wednesday, which is also the day that my baby turns 15 months. 15 MONTHS! Holy cow. Now the biggest “holy cow” part of this is that since August, when I found out my due date and consulted my calculator, people have asked, “How far apart will your babies be?” When this all started, my daughter was only 8 months, so when I answered, “16 months apart,” that didn’t feel all that bad because it was double her age.
But tomorrow she is turning 15 months, which means NEXT MONTH I’m having a baby. Yes, holy cow. In some ways, my daughter feels so old. She grew out of the baby stage pretty quickly – walking at 10 months, talking up a storm already. But then yesterday I followed her up the stairs while she crawled and she looked so tiny, just my little baby.
Now I am thrilled about welcoming our new little girl into our lives. I can’t wait to meet her and learn her little personality and watch what she adds to our family dynamics. But my first baby is only 15 months…and she’s about ready to have to grow up pretty fast.
Another milestone this week is my birthday. This is a big one for me – I’m turning 30, and to be honest, I’m having a bit of a crisis about it.
Maybe it’s because I’m hugely pregnant and looking toward a spring of unknowns with two babes. I don’t really know.
For me, the anticipation of something is always much worse than the actual event. I build things up in my head so that when the actual event rolls around, I have lived through it and it’s not so bad (I think there’s something in my Meyers Briggs about this…). I announced to my husband several months ago that I wanted a party…and I wanted to take some kind of a trip before baby comes. He’s planning a nice party for me on Friday, and we’re planning to trek it to Chicago next weekend (we’ll see how big city will meet 9-month-pregnant me, who hasn’t exercised in months).
Even though I’ve been dreading this birthday for a while, I am also looking forward to what my 30s will bring. There is plenty I will miss about my 20s – mostly the care-free, no-responsibility days. But part of me is ready to say good-bye to those days and the hangovers of all kinds that they left me with. I am feeling more grounded these days; and though I don’t have the same autonomy of my 23-yr-old self, I happily trade that in for the richness of moments with my husband and the giggles of my daughter.
So this week, I grieve and I embrace. I grieve my daughter growing out of her baby self, but I embrace the grown-up-ish version she is becoming … and the wonderful big sister she will be. I grieve a time in my life when I shopped and danced and drove all around the country all on a whim, but I embrace the quiet moments in my home, the tenderness of my husband, the front-row seat I get watching my daughter learn to tackle life.
Once again, I revisit Richard Rohr’s quote about embracing the now:
“What is, is okay. What is, is the great teacher.”