I'm older today, this being my first day after turning thirty. Some have remarked that I'm just 29 with experience, trying to soothe me by telling me that I don't look thirty. Each time I've responded with great emphasis that no, I am thirty. I'm welcoming this new decade with much enthusiasm for many reasons.
My twenties were spent largely wading through the jungle(or swamp, perhaps?) that is new parenthood. There is much beauty and life there, but also a never-ending battle just to stay sane. I haven't always won those battles. But now, as I hit thirty, I'm leaving that jungle behind me. Scant weeks before my birthday, my youngest weaned and potty-trained. The diaper pail has been regulated to the basement, the diapers packaged up and passed on, and my breasts stay covered all day long. After nine years of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding, this feels like freedom. (While filling out a health survey, I discovered that I have been nursing for a total of 86 months. Craziness!)
Becoming pregnant meant dropping out of school, putting my academic dreams on hold. Then motherhood took me in a whole new direction. I've found passions that I didn't even know existed. Before getting pregnant, I knew nothing about birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, parenting, fill-in-the-blank. While hiking through this jungle, I've learned much, become wiser, more informed, more graceful. As I enter this new decade, I sense that I have more to offer and can truly make a difference.
My five minutes have come and gone, but I could keep on going. Growing older has meant new maturity, a sense of being comfortable in my skin and a growing acceptance as well as realization of who I am. Slowly I'm learning to move past my hurts, my hang-ups, my selfishness to be a better mother, daughter, friend, doula and hopefully wife. I'm excited to age, to become purified, continually changed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to become a wise woman of peace and grace. Or at least that's my hope.
I'd keep going, but I have a picnic supper to pack and funeral flowers to order.