Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Driving 45

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!"

Sammy-"I'm hungry."

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.


denise said...

Omar took them all out by himself?
He is a wonderful husband :)

Happy late b-day! I should have guessed you were a taurus, I have soooo many in my life-even though I'm not supposed to get along with you bull headed nuts at all!

Next year someone will have to tell Omar to stay home with the kids and shoo YOU out of the house so that you don't end up cleaning,lol.

Kim Wombles said...

Happy birthday! A day spent in a quiet house cleaning sounds lovely (isn't that awful?)followed by your loud and boisterous bunch surrounding you with love and presents sounds like a perfect finishing touch. :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy 'Birfday'!

Thinking of you:


(hmn ... Word Verification: givion
give on and on and on ...)

Club 166 said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

(If you feel like "celebrating" again, we have lots of laundry and things that need cleaning at our house) :)

Hope you had some cake and ice cream, too!


kathleen said...

Thanks everyone for the good wishes...I was afraid to write this post because it was different. I promise to be back to my silly old self next week. @Denise-yes Omar is fabulous. Although if I left the house, it would be in worse shape when I got home. @kwombles..I'm afraid that kids and age have changed what my idea of fun is...@ andrea-I always get the weirdest verification word thingys...@Joe-my house is already a horrific mess again...maybe next birthday (:

kathleen said...

@ andrea-sorry-I missed it at first-great poem. Anyone looking at the comments...go up to andreas and grab the link!

Chun Wongw said...

Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you had a great day and what a special husband you've got - your kids sound pretty awesome too. Glad you got some well-deserved "me time", the best present of all.

kathleen said...

@ Chun Wong-thanks...alone time can be the best!