Bigger Picture Moment: 41

They say “age is just a number.” I believe this statement to be true. However, there are moments like when my knees creak as I walk up the stairs, or when I fall asleep with mouth agape while watching TV. When my laugh lines seem more pronounced and the oldies station is playing songs from the 80’s.

 

This is 41

You know you are old when you fall asleep tailgating.

 

Those are the moments I feel old.

 

Ancient.

 

Obsolete.

 

I turned 41 today. I’m on the other side of the hill.

 

Each birthday I take moment, breathe deeply and assess my place in the universe. I remember thinking at the tender age of 18 that 40 seemed crazy old. According to my 18 year-old self I’d be retired by now with grandkids and a beach house. If only … although not the grandkids those can wait a bit.

 

Forty – one might not be old, but I have seen so many changes in the world – the invention of the Internet, the devastation of 911, TMZ used as a credible news outlet, gay marriage and the legalization of pot.

 

As the world around me grows and expands, so do I.

 

I grow older, and hopefully wiser.

 

Age really is just a number, the measure of a person’s life isn’t just in how many years they have lived and breathed on this earth.

 

I will never stop wearing hot dog t-shirts no matter how old I am.

I will never stop wearing hot dog t-shirts no matter how old I am.

 

It’s measured in …

 

Forty-one years of laughter, and the chiseled lines to prove that yes life can be downright hilarious. So hilarious you might even pee your pants, which is what happens when you’re old.

 

Creaky knees, because they have led me across many a finish line.

 

The times I’ve fallen asleep in my chair each night because it means I’ve lived a full life that day.

 

Those days when a radio station plays my favorite song from 80’s because who doesn’t love a dance party in the kitchen.

 

All week my husband has asked what I wanted for my birthday. I replied with a smile and shoulder shrug, because after 41 years I have everything I need right here.

 

This is 41

 

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Bigger Picture: What I Learned When Smooshed My Kid {#BPM}

It was a glorious Saturday afternoon. I had ditched my date with the laundry monster in favor of hanging out with our two cutie pie monsters.

 

We made our way downtown with the intention of heading to the Farmer’s Market. However, mama can’t do downtown without an iced coffee in her hand. A quick coffee stop turned into a full-on second breakfast.

 

You know because oatmeal just isn’t enough.

 

In 2.5 seconds Big E and I had gobbled up our goodies and were left waiting impatiently for Little Red to methodically dismantle his gargantuan cinnamon roll bite by bite. It was painful to watch…I think a snail would moved faster.

 

By the time Little Red had finished, the Farmer’s Market was over..sigh. With reluctant feet I made my way to the playground. I’m cool with the playground it’s fun for the kids, but sometimes I’m just not into it.

 

Yes, I am that mom that will sit on the bench, cell phone in hand, catching up on blogs, updating my Facebook status, and Instagraming photos. All while the boys play “battle”, “superheroes” or some other chasing game.

 

While I sat on my perch watching the boys, making sure no one decided to jump off the highest ladder, I took a deep breath.

 

“Hey mom,” Big E yelled. “Play battle with us. You can be the bad guy.”

 

Seriously, why am I ALWAYS the “bad guy”?

 

Perhaps this is some kind of metaphor.

 

To be honest I was enjoying my perch, and the room to breath.

 

And just when I was about to make-up some lame excuse Little Red pops over and says “peas mama.”

 

Ugh, now they were ganging up on me.

 

“Ok,” I said reluctantly. I slipped my cell phone into my pocket and followed them to the playground.

 

They started running, I started chasing.

 

 

They started laughing. I started laughing.

 

Just like that, I was hooked into their game.

 

Smooshed 1

There I was the ONLY adult climbing the playground equipment, and pretending to be the “bad guy.”

 

“Capture me mama,” yelled Big E.

 

I ran after him and tackle hugged him tightly then walked him back to my dungeon. His giggling echoed in the caverns of the playground. I was laughing along, tickling him.

 

“I’ll rescue you,” yelled Little Red. Distracted by my “prisoner” I wasn’t prepared for the screaming fury known as Little Red. He charges at my legs knocking me off kilter sending me to ground right on top of him.

 

Laughter quickly turned to tears, and embarrassment {on my part}. The playground grew silent and I could feel every eye on me, as I rolled off my four year old.

 

“There’s nothing to see here folks,” I thought in my head. “Just a mom who crushed her kiddo. No biggie. Just keep on playing.”

 

I cradled Little Red in my arms, wiping his tears and kissing his boo boos. “Mama you smooshed me,” he declared accusingly.

 

I nodded my head, “Yes, I’m so sorry buddy. Are you ok?”

 

Through snuffles he shook his head yes.

 

In less time than it took my 40-year old body to get up off the ground. Little Red and Big E were off running again like nothing had even happened.

 

Kids are resilient, it’s one of the qualities I envy about them. The ability to fall and just wipe their tears and keep on keeping on.

 

Conflicts and collisions have a tendency to stick with you longer when you are older. It becomes harder and harder to bounce back after you’ve been smooshed by the world.

 

Here’s the deal though, even though the world may smoosh us once in a while we still need to get off the bench and just keep on laughing.

 

Boys Downtown

Bigger Picture Moment: Kid Day Not Mom Day

“Please stop yelling,” I whispered harshly to my little ones. We were grocery shopping on New Year’s Eve, and they were acting like lunatics. Ok, maybe I thought they were acting like lunatics. Everyone we passed smiled at them, but I couldn’t decide if they were smiling because the boys were funny or  if they were holding back evil laughter and thanking god those weren’t their kids. Whatever it was, I was mad and I was going to make sure the world knew it.

 

“Ugh…the New Year is going out like a lion,” I lamented in a FB post. Luckily I wasn’t alone in my lamenting. However, I didn’t want it to be this way.

 

I had envisioned my time with the boys over winter break as a Norman Rockwell-esq Facebook post, complete with a cute Vine video of them laughing and playing in the snow. Ummmm….not happening.

 

Instead I was subjected to snipes, grumbles, mumbles and temper tantrums. To be honest after the first day home I didn’t really want to be with them. Those kids are cray cray and they don’t come with a volume control either. I figured by the time break was over I’d need to be committed to an insane asylum {or I’d just volunteer so I could watch TV in peace} and I’d be deaf.

 

I was looking forward longingly to my mom-day on Monday, one whole day that I  “intentionally” took off from work, in order to reboot my soul. A day to just sit alone in the house. Maybe read a book, or binge watch some episodes of Glee and pin crap off Pinterest that I’d never do. This day was my out…my oasis in the chaos.

 

Then with one phone call it all fell apart – school was cancelled for Monday. Mother Nature, thwarted my plan. I swear she doesn’t have children, otherwise she would have understood my disappointment.

 

The grouchiness grew and as I snapped my gazillionth “no” of the day, I looked at my FB page of rants, and my one word that was staring at me from the screen, and I said, “no more.”

 

If I want to live intentionally with these two boys I need to join in the fun {no matter how crazy} and just “be” with them.

 

I said “yes” to playing games and trains.

 

I took deep breaths and counted to 10 {A LOT}, but patience won over irritation.

 

Cuddles

I lived in the moment instead of looking toward escaping to the next.

 

And when the phone rang again on Monday announcing no school for Tuesday I danced a little happy dance in the kitchen.

 

My eldest and I spent the whole day alone together. We went to Target {of course}, but we also cleaned, and played some games, watched a movie and bonded over dragons and Star Wars.

 

Our relationship was mended.

 

I said no less and he said yes more.

 

We were a mother and son instead of enemies.

 

Snowday

 

Turns out my soul didn’t need a mom day it needed a kid day.

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