With as much as I love birthday parties and the chance to celebrate the year that’s past and the one to come, my kids’ birthdays are pretty hard on this mama’s heart.
I am both absolutely smitten with the stage that Burke is in right now- all personality and curiousity and keen observations and hilarity, and also just can’t believe my eyes when I see a cake topper that says “7.”
Admittedly, part of this struggle is that I genuinely love babies and toddlers and it kind of kills me that Burke and Piper have moved past that (and that our adoption just seems to be moving more slowly than I would prefer- can you say Baby Fever?).
Another part of the hard is trying to figure out how seven whole years passed in a nanosecond, and then scrambling to figure out what’s going to happen when I wake up tomorrow morning and he’s 14. Ummm… panic?
But part of it, the part that strikes me at the core, is the regret I have for my misspent minutes during Burke’s sixth year. And it’s not ‘mommy guilt,’ at least not the kind that I’m putting on myself undeservedly (I do that too, though). This is actual, deserved regret for minutes that I didn’t use wisely and now can’t get back. The ones where I lost my temper about forgotten PE shoes or scrolled through instagram on my phone instead of reading with him or got to the end of a conversation and realized that I had no idea what my sweet son just told me with such enthusiasm.
I will be the first to admit that being present is a total struggle for me- my to-do list looms large is my own mind, I am an expert at multi tasking, and chores and busy work beckon me like a siren call. And even though I am pretty much awesome at getting things done, I am finding that this is not actually the greatest good (shocker).
Which brings me to my love-hate relationship with birthdays. At the same time, I pretty much hate the process of accounting for this year’s lost time. But also, I am so thankful for this built in reminder of another year past (which, did I mention yet, seems to go faster and faster?). Each year’s birthday, however hard on my minute-squandering heart, is a like one big ol’ call back to a place of Priorities Clarity.
There is a day on the horizon when an afternoon spent chatting about super heroes or building an elaborate Lego neighborhood with mom will not be on Burke’s list of awesome. But right now, it is. And I love the chance to remember that, despite my apparent love for laundry and Pinterest, Lego neighborhoods and super power debates are pretty much where it’s at. I am so thankful for new mercies this morning (and this year) and the chance to commit to reclaiming as many of those minutes as I can.
Birthdays, I sure do like you (and also really don’t like you).
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:21-24