today my babies turn fourteen.
so I celebrated by getting up early and going for a bike ride.
before I left, however, I grabbed my lipstick and scrawled a big Happy Birthday! across the bathroom mirror in case they got up before I returned.
I contemplated parenthood on my ride. and being a mom, giving birth to babies who grow to be children and then adolescents and on. I thought about my life, and how parenting grew to give shape to so much of who I am. and then I thought about my breathing and my legs and my heart rate, and had to stop thinking about being a parent. basically I just had to stop thinking.
but my early morning musings have set the tone for the day. it's difficult not to look back fourteen years and remember the day these girls were born. which leads me to think of my sons being born, and reliving some of those experiences.
it makes for a nostalgic, wee bit melancholy, day.
I'm not one of those parents who bemoan their childrens' growing up: I enjoy each new step and phase, and I love to see how my children are maturing and moving through their own journeys. however, I do, at times like this, find myself looking backward and experiencing awe at just how beautiful and amazing my children have been at each step of their lives. freezing doesn't seem to be an option, so I thank God for pictures.
it's nice to have babies who are fairly self-sufficient. to know that I can go for a three-hour bike ride and they will be more relieved at my absence than anything else. to know that I can have my own life and passions while they continue to develop theirs. it's almost like my children and I are reenacting the stage toddlers go through called "parallel play," where two or more will each play, side by side, but not really interact or combine their activities. we are all here, we each have our own favorite and or necessary activities, and we all support each other in being our own people.
my ride this morning was awesome. the headwind and tired legs on the way up became a tailwind and energized, worked-out legs on the way down, and I returned home strong and ready for a day of cake and cookie making, present wrapping, lunch delivering, and general party preparation. it's been a good day.
and the lipstick remains, although every time I glance at that mirror I think, gosh, what's all over that thing? where's the windex?
I think I might have to leave it there for a while, just as a reminder of all that's good in life.