I woke up Sunday morning, stretched, looked at the clock.. it was 8:45-I quickly sat up-where were the kids?! And then I remembered..my husband had gotten up with them...he let me sleep in... today was my birthday...HOLY CRAP, I'm forty five! How did that happen?
It is not the age that bothers me. I don't mind getting older. I don't buy into the whole "youth culture", the "45 is the new 25"-I'm too busy for that. I had my youth, and I am more than happy to let the appropriate people have theirs. In other words.... you couldn't pay me to go back. Been there done that-not doing it again. Ever. No, I think that Birthdays make me itchy and I guess a little introspective. I look back on the girl that I was, and compare her to... the girl I am now. I wonder-is there really such a big difference?
When I was nineteen, I thought that I would conquer the world. I was going to have adventures..drive fast, take chances..I would laugh in the face of fear as the wind blew through my hair. HA HA HA! ....At forty five, I drive a mini-van..laugh at the seemingly never ending overflowing toilet emergencies... and forget the wind-I'm lucky if I even have time to brush my hair. The funny thing is- I wouldn't trade it for anything. I would though, go back, and talk to that nineteen year old girl...I would tell her that she was o.k.-that living near crazy didn't make her crazy..that who she was-would ultimately serve her well in years to come. I would also let her know that "euthanasia" didn't mean kids in China..and "guerrillas" were not primates with guns...I would save her at least a little embarrassment..
As I made my way downstairs Sunday morning, I was surrounded by the herd all clamoring for my attention, all talking at once...
Sammy-"Happy birthday Mama!"
Lily-"Mama is awake! It's your birthday!"
Oscar-"Hello my birthday girl."
Zoe-"Mama! Mama's awake! It's your birthday!"
Lily "me too."
Oscar-"Can I have a snack?"
Zoe-"I need juice."
How quickly the novelty wears off. They could be surrounded by a legion of servants, and it wouldn't matter. I know that their papa has fed them probably multiple times since they have woken up.... It may be my birthday-but I am their mother and they have needs! Needs that seemingly, only I can fulfill. Omar, being the fabulous husband that he is, decided to take them out so that I could have some time to myself. And, after one minor incident(Lily didn't like where she was sitting(next to Zoe)so she stole Sammy's spot, making both Sammy and Zoe cry-which in turn made Oscar cry-causing Omar to yell at Lily, who cried.) they left. I was secretly thrilled as I watched them drive away.
I was free! I had a whole day ahead of me. A day to do whatever I wanted! I could read, go for a walk...just sit and stare. The world was at my feet... and so... was the laundry....and under the laundry was a dirty floor...which I might as well sweep and while I'm at it, I could mop....I should do the bathroom floor as well, but in order to mop, I need to fill the bucket in the sink. The sink filled with dishes. I cleaned and I scrubbed-vacuumed and swept. All uninterrupted! It was heaven. Just as I was finishing up, the herd returned home. Omar said "why did you clean? I wanted you to relax" To which I replied "I don't know how to!" I can't sit still-and have never been able to. I am happiest when I am moving-doing. Spending the day(alone) cleaning the house had been a gift. Now... I was ready for presents.
Oscar,was so excited to give me a pound of coffee-he KNEW that is what I love, the girls gave me make-up (how I got such girly- girls is beyond me, but that's a story for another day) Sammy made me a drawing of one of his super heroes-a work of his heart, and Omar-my partner in herding, gave me the lovely laptop I am writing this story on.
Yes, I am a forty five year old girl with the heart of a nineteen year old. And although I have yet to conquer the world, I have had lots of adventures. I just didn't expect so many of them to be about autism. My kids have changed me in ways I could never have imagined. They inspire and humble me....sometimes they drive me crazy. I don't try and second guess what the future holds for me or my family. All that I have is this one moment, this one second...and right now it is perfect. Fifteen minutes from now? Your guess is as good as mine.