Friday, June 3, 2011

One Year Older and, Well...

It seems the longer I live, the more I feel like there is so much left to learn!  Older = Wiser?  I'm not sure about that.  I guess even though I have a lot to learn about life, I'm glad to have tucked away a few decades under my belt, and glad to have seemingly skated through them without too much hassle!  I'm 37, inching closer and closer to the 40 mark.  I'm not sure how I feel about that yet, however, I feel like once I got married and started having children, in a sense I felt like I became OLD even though I was relatively young in comparison to most people.  Now that I'm in my 30's, and because I have so many children, I seem to identify myself with all different people, of all different ages.  I identify with those young mothers in their 20's , who have one or two little ones and are struggling through those early years of parenthood.  I feel for them--since I know they are putting all kinds of pressure on themselves, thinking that if they don't do everything just perfect, they will somehow destroy their children and their poor, vulnerable psyche.  Even though I still have young children, I have learned (the hard way), that all that pressure and stress does no good, and all I can do is my best.  My 5th and 6th children have certainly had a much more relaxed, confident, (and happy) mother than their older siblings did!  I identify with mothers in their 30's, most of them with children in elementary and junior high school, and I enjoy talking with them about strategies and tricks to talking/relating to our young children and pre-teens.  Some of them are mothers who had their children later in life, and have had experiences that I didn't get to have.  Missions, Degrees, Careers--I really admire these women for what they were able to accomplish while I was in the thick of parenting and marriage in my 20's.  They benefit from a maturity, and a perspective that I didn't have for a long time, and they are able to see things in a different way.  Sometimes I notice that they appreciate their kids and families a little more than maybe I did in the beginning.  I was a little (or a LOT) selfish while I was in my 20's--especially when I first got married & had a child, aren't we all?  I also have friends and family in their 40's and 50's,  most of whom are dealing with the JOY of teenagers, whether their first, or last few children to leave the nest.  I enjoy talking to them, especially the ones who have done this teenage thing before, and whose children have made it through the JUNGLE that is High School, and have survived!  I have learned that it IS possible--to raise a righteous, valiant child, in a world swirling about with wickedness and that gives me HOPE! I think HOPE is what every  parent of a teenager needs!  Finally, my visiting teaching partner is a lady in her 60's, like my mom, and I just love going with her to visit teach and hearing her perspective, having raised her children, and now looking back at what she thinks she did and didn't do wrong.  We also visit a lady in her 70's who gives such valuable insight--I feel like I learn something new from these ladies every single month!  I guess my point is, when I was in my teens, and 20's, I remember looking at people in their 30's and older, and thinking--"They are nothing like me--I can't relate to those OLD people".  Rude...  I know!  Now, I realize that I have much to learn from those who have come before me, and valuable input to add for those coming up behind me.  In this way, I do feel like I get a little wiser every year--just a little.
You might feel like that was a rather lengthy monologue for a measly 37th birthday post--but hey--life is short right!  When you have these kind of epiphanys at my age--it helps to write them down--I surely won't remember them later unless I did (I probably wouldn't remember 30 minutes from now)!  My memory is going fast you know!   My birthday was so much fun!  I was awakened by all of my children serenading me in their beautiful voices, and YAY--got my favorite treat--a QT Donut birthday cake, homemade by TODD!  Thank goodness he didn't destroy them by putting 37 candles on them!  The kitchen may have caught fire!  My friend Tonya made my morning even brighter by bringing me a Coke Zero from Circle K (the styrofoam cup is the BEST, and they have the BEST Coke Zero), and she went the extra mile to stop at QT and buy me 2 MORE QT Chocolate Long Jons!  (I didn't share those...with anyone--in fact, I threatened a certain child with his/her life for trying to take one).  Anytime I have a Coke Zero before 10 a.m.--it's SURE to be a great day!  The kids had cute cards telling me what they LOVE about mom--luckily they only tried to think of 10 things, not 37!  Later, I found out that Erin had decorated her bathroom mirror with a Dry Erase Marker in MY HONOR!  She's so sweet!  Love that girl!  That night we went to dinner at the Keg--(steak--YUM) with Todd's sister Katie and her husband Shaun, and then to Gammage for MAMMA MIA!  I LOVE that show--it was a BLAST!   Take a look at my amazing day!  Forgive the bedhead--but I don't look THAT bad for 37, right?  (Nevermind...don't answer that!)











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