I turn 25 today. That’s right, I’m a whole quarter-century old. I feel seasoned. ;-)
All kidding aside, my birthday seems to come around faster each year, but it also causes me to pause and reflect on how much has really happened in that time. I sometimes feel like I’m not making progress or realizing my dreams (even defining my dreams) quickly enough, like time is slipping by. But my birthday’s a marker of a kind, one that impels me to stop for a moment and marvel at where I am right now, where I’ve been, and the exciting conclusion that there’s no telling where it’s all going. I suspect, and hope, that it’ll continue to be a fun and fascinating ride.
I’m grateful for where my life is now. I have a husband who I love… and who made homemade ice cream for me last night… awesome, right? At this time last year, he was my boyfriend (I loved him then, too). I’ve retained a job in the media, a job that I enjoy, through a year-long cascade of folding publications, and layoffs across the industry. Last year, I’d only occupied the position for a few months. I’d taken a chance in taking the job on, as I left a permanent position for what was, in the beginning, a contract one (but what does ‘permanent’ really mean, anyway? See above re: cross-industry contraction). The risk was worth taking, but new jobs are stressful and I was focused on making this one work at this time last year; I’m not sure what other future-oriented thoughts I was entertaining. This year, as I look forward, there is one, huge, bigger-than-ever thought and moment before me. It stops me in my tracks.
Oh my God. I am going to be someone’s mom.
My perspective has suddenly broadened. I have no idea what having a baby, a son, will be like. That’s okay—I know we’ll figure it out! My perspective has also shifted, though, beyond the details of my own daily circumstances and long-term dreams to the world at large. I’ve always cared about the world around me, but now I am bringing someone into it.
When I see images of explosions halfway across the globe, the distance is meaningless. This is the world I am giving to my son. When I see live musicians playing jazz in the corner of a café, smiles at the sides of their mouths and heads bobbing, it has a new magic. This is the world I am giving to my son! Like all mothers, surely, I hope he will be safe, and that he’ll do what makes him happy.
As I blow out the candles tonight, my wish will be for our world, and not as some distant concept, but as the home we all really do share:
May all beings be happy. May all beings be free. May all beings be peaceful. Happy birthday to me!
Please feel free to add your wishes below-- I'll incorporate them into my own. How has parenting changed your perspective on, and approach to, your own lives, and our world?