And I'm completely fine with it. I've surprised myself, over the past two years, by not mourning the end of my Baby Days. I'm embracing the Growing Up of my kids...and myself. Do I feel like a Grown Up? No. Does anyone, ever? Grown ups have it all Figured Out. I've yet to meet anyone, at any age, that claims such confidence. But 35? I ain't mad atcha.
I was watching a 15-year old (I mean, she was probably well into her 20s, but whatever) perform on The Tonight Show the other night and my first thought wasn't Imagine being up on that stage...introduced by Jimmy Fallon...LIVING your dream?
It was Imagine seeing your baby up on that stage, living HER dream?
I'm a Mom. Bonafide. And I'm loving my mid-30s.
On this, my 35th Birthday, here are 35 Things...all about me. You're welcome.
- When I was in high school, my family got a chocolate lab. We named him Moose. When I met Sam, he had a chocolate lab...named Moose. My Moose died on our wedding day. Sam's Moose lived long enough for our boys to know. Molly's the one who would have loved him the most...
- ...but we're not getting a puppy. No matter how much Sam practices his "But think of how happy Molly would be!" routine.
- I still don't know how to "do my hair" besides pulling it back into a loose, low ponytail.
- Also: make-up? It's powder, mascara, and Chapstick only, leaving those around-the-eye wrinkles for all the world to see.
- Ghostbusters is the best movie of all time.
- I read The Sound and the Fury five times during college (twice within six months) and found something new within it's pages each time. And I would if I read it again today...but, oh, that's a bit dense for Quiet Time.
- I've had more than a few conversations lately in which I've said, "Gah! People! They are just the worst!" And I meant it. Because, idiots.
- I still carry regret over the way a friendship ended just after college.
- Although I express myself best through words, they need to be written. Talking is hard.
- But listening isn't. I can listen without judgment. I've become a sounding board for friends and family members, and that is one of my greatest sources of pride.
- I can't resist, though, offering advice; even when it's unsolicited. I want to be a problem-solver....even when the problems aren't mine to solve.
- I'll eat any vegetable (except mushrooms, if those count as vegetables, which they don't because they're FUNGI) but rarely pick up a piece of fruit unless it's leftover on my kids' plates.
- I need to listen to more music. I miss my Radiohead, Beatles, Dylan, Coldplay, and Dave Matthews CDs, but I'm too lazy to upload them to my phone...and when would I listen to an actual CD?
- I want to see the world. Meh. Not really. I want to sit on my couch under my cozy blanket with a glass of wine and let Anthony Bourdain show it to me.
- Though I loved my job and excelled at it, I'll never go back to teaching.
- My favorite time of day is reading to my kids at bedtime...especially now that my oldest is reading books like the Percy Jackson series. I look forward to Bedtime Reading as much for the snuggling as for the next plot development.
- In third grade, we hatched chicken eggs in an incubator in our classroom. Even though my mom had recently had her FIFTH child (and we had at least one cat at home), she said, "Sure, you can bring two of those chicks home with you!" I kept them in our basement bathtub for a few weeks, feeding them crushed Cheerios. When they were big enough to hop out of the tub, we brought them to live at a petting farm. I told my mom I named them Buttercup and Daffodil, but really, I called them Darryl and Randall. (She's learning that along with the rest of you right now.)
- If I never set foot in a bar or club again for the rest of my life, I'll be totally okay with that.
- Though I know I'm not supposed to (because of the Mommy Wars), I do enjoy a smug sense of satisfaction knowing that I had three unmedicated childbirths. Not because I'm a card-carrying member of the anti-epidural crowd, but because I'm usually such a pathetic cry-baby when it comes to feats of pain-endurance that I'm still kinda shocked I actually did it (three times!).
- People who don't "support" gay marriage blow my fucking mind.
- That was the first time I wrote "fucking" on my blog.
- I wear black, white, gray, and sometimes brown. I keep trying to buy colors but they intimidate me.
- I designed my own wedding dress (and my mom made it!) because I didn't want something frilly or lacy or fluffy or fancy. The simple, comfy, straight-lined result was elegant and perfect.
- I can't eat steak. But I'm not a vegetarian. But I could be.
- When I was a teenager, I was with my family at Friendly's Ice Cream Shop. The hot waiter came over to take my order and, in an astonishingly Freudian slip of the tongue, I ordered the Reese's Penis Sundae. I did not recover smoothly.
- Instagram is my true social media love.
- Sam and I record and binge-watch Aerial America on The Smithsonian Channel because we're cool like that.
- Commercials for scary movies make me cry from fear. So no, I don't watch scary movies.
- I've written a children's book. And, hopefully, I'll have more to say about that someday soon.
- Blogging might be the single best thing I did for my mental health since becoming a mom.
- I picture myself as a blonde, though I've been a brunette for over 25 years. It's not because I want to be blonde, but because six of my seven siblings are blondes, so I assume I must be, too.
- And speaking of that motley crew: I'm the luckiest person in the world to have the brothers and sisters that I do. Even though they won't let me live down that damn Reese's Penis Sundae slip.
- When I was pregnant with Max, I craved Hot Soup (in the middle of a blazing hot summer). To this day, when I eat a bowl of soup, I am mentally and emotionally transported back to that pregnancy. Despite the fact that it was a stressful pregnancy, I still love soup.
- When I met Sam, the last thing I was looking for was a serious, long-term relationship. I had just graduated, was living with my girlfriends, and was ready to have some Fun. Sometimes you don't choose the path...it, thankfully, chooses you. I'm just glad I took a chance on that path-I-didn't-think-I-wanted.
- Though I thought I knew it all as far back as my 20s, I had not experienced my true depth and range of emotions until I had my children. They bring out both the best in me...and they've seen me at my worst. They're my favorite things in this whole wide world....and, like I sang to them today in the car, loudly, over their many protests: I have loved them for 1,000 years and I'll love them for 1,000 more....so bring on the birthdays!
Now let's eat cake!