Monday, May 16, 2016

30

{From the early years, when big thighs and chubby cheeks actually looked cute on me.}
It's been a while since I have done this, and I am feeling a bit rusty. It doesn't help that I am currently running on very low brain power thanks to a new baby and sleep deprivation. We have welcomed our fourth baby to this little family of ours and I am a basket case of emotions with each milestone she reaches, knowing it's the last time I'll get to enjoy them as a mother. (We aren't going to talk about the fact that she fit into 0-3 month clothes this morning!) I will never understand how it is that they can get so big and grow up right under our noses. After being miserable for nine months I think the least these babies could do for us is just slow down and stay teeny tiny for a bit longer.

I have been in a reflective state these past few days and I might as well just mention the reason why since it's the big elephant in the room... I'm turning 30 years old tomorrow. 30! When did that happen? Here I am criticizing my own baby for growing up too fast when I'm feeling the very same way about MYSELF. I keep jokingly, but frantically, asking Jerry what I need to do before my 20's are gone forever. I know in college I wrote a journal entry about the things I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 30. I have no idea where it is though, and I'm actually grateful about that. I'm sure the list had some very unrealistic goals and all I would do is feel like even more of a failure when I looked at the few boxes I would be able to check off.

What is it about turning another decade older that is such a big deal? After all, it really is just one year older than last year. But suddenly I just feel OLD. Think about it. Now during surveys that ask how old you are I will be in the 30-35 category. When people ask how old I am and I tell them, they will believe me rather than be surprised at how young I am. Doing things like riding my son's electric scooter to get the mail, eating cookie dough from the bowl and jumping on the trampoline will be frowned upon because "she's too old to do that" (actually, the jumping on the trampoline would probably be more frowned upon because of how many children I have and the subsequent weak bladder because of said children..but still). Guaranteed all of you age 30 plus readers are thinking, "She's not old, she's still so young! Live it up. 30's are the best." Yet, the 29 year old in me agrees with all the 30 and below readers who are saying, "Whoa, she really is getting old."

All joking aside, I can't help but feel grateful for the years I have had. I have learned and experienced so much and can honestly say that I would rather be 30 and know a thing or two about life than be 20 and not know the things I know now. In 30 years I have learned the simple things like how to talk, how to walk, how to ride a bicycle and how to mow the lawn. I've learned how to make friends. I've learned the importance of making good friends and keeping them. I've learned that being popular isn't as important as I might have thought. I have gained a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and learned how much it means to me to have that truth in my life. I've experienced the joy that comes from accomplishing goals and the disappointment that comes from failure. I have felt what it's like to have my heart broken. I know what true love really is. I know that the best smell on earth is that of a new baby and the sweetest sight is seeing a baby smile in their sleep. I've experience the warmth and completeness that comes from holding a baby in my arms. I've experienced pain, emptiness and the complete and utter despair that comes from losing a baby. I've learned to not be afraid to reach out to others when they are in their own moments of complete and utter despair. I know what it's like to lose sleep over how to help your child overcome their trials in life. I have experienced pride - the good kind (if there is such a thing) - in watching my children learn and grow.  I have learned what it means to work hard. I know that having a clean home makes me happy (even though I'm at a time in my life when it's almost impossible to keep it that way). I know how to plant a garden and keep it alive (mostly). I have learned that the older I get, the less Oreos and cookie dough I can eat without them literally going straight to my behind. And I could go on and on.

In addition to all of the things I have learned in the last 30 years, I have also had the influence of so many incredible people in my life. From teachers to church leaders to friends and family, I have certainly been blessed. I am convinced that I have the most wonderful parents on this planet, which makes sense because they both came from some wonderful parents themselves. They have been there for me, supported me and loved me through every single year of my life and I love them for it. I don't know how I made the best decision of my life at just age 18 when I agreed to marry Jerry, but I did. 18! He robbed the cradle for sure. And it's a good thing because I know that I am my happiest and best self when I am with him. Each and every one of my kids, even though much younger than me, have influenced and taught me a great deal. At an early age I learned the importance of having good friends and because of that I have had some of the most amazing people in my life that I am honored to call friends.

So, on this eve of turning 30, instead of spending it out at Cold Stone living up what's left of my 29 year old metabolism (which is already crap by the way, thank you postpartum) I am writing a blog post. Partly because I am nursing a baby who has a dairy sensitivity and I can't eat ice cream, but mostly because I want to remember what an incredible 30 years it has been. The good, the bad and the ugly. All of it. I'll take 30 over 20 any day and if you see me out on that scooter, hop on your own and join me!

2 comments:

  1. Very beautifully written. 30's are great, minus the metabolism slowing down. You are awesome and amazing and I admire you for all that you are.

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