Monday, November 1, 2010


It's funny how years change us. Liam is napping. I have an iced coffee, some music, today's newspaper, and some time to myself. I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday afternoon. In the story Eleven, Rachel feels disappointed that she does not feel older when she wakes up on her eleventh birthday. This is the first year I really sort of hoped to feel some sort of Zen awakening. At best, I hoped to be able to something clearer in this crazy world I decided to bring a son into.

Today I am thirty-four. Thirty four. I remember when my mom was thirty-four. Thirty-three was definitely my most life changing year to date. I became a mother and lost my own. I watched my life change for the better as Mike and I welcomed Liam into our lives. Mike and I have grown so much closer than I ever thought possible as we learn to be parents together.

Thirty-three had no hidden agendas. My induction was scheduled on the day JD Salinger died. My love of the Catcher in the Rye lead me to consider the name Holden for Liam. There was no missing that sign; my teen angst, adolescent confusion had to be put behind me. (Every time I read and teach that book, I am different. I can't wait to teach it as a parent. I wonder how I will interpret it.) The flood taught me how unimportant some "things" are. As much as I would love to get back the last Christmas card my grandmother sent me or my high school yearbooks, I waded through our belongings understanding that others had lost their homes. Mom taught me that each day as a gift and should be treated as such. If there are things I want in life, it is up to me to make it happen. Right after she died, someone told me that for the first few months, dead mothers are perfect. How true that was. I mourned the mother who was so excited about becoming a grandmother and not the one who told everyone I was four weeks pregnant when I asked her to hold off until the first ultrasound. Five months later, I mourn the mother who could take care of everyone but herself. I take a different route home so I will not reach for the phone at that same first light that I used to call her every afternoon as I left school. This has made me reflect on what kind of a mother I will be and how Liam will perceive me.

This leads to thirty-four. Next year at this time, Liam will twenty-one months old. It is unfathomable at this time that he will be able to run around and have a conversation next year at this time. Next year he will be able to really trick or treat. Thirty-four will bring our first family camping trip, Liam's first Christmas and first birthday. Thirty-four will make a year without my mom as well as a year without a basement and New Kids on the Block trading cards. Maybe thirty-four will be the age in which I stop worrying about things I can not control. Maybe thirty-four will be the year I learn to stop being so hard on myself.

Today I am thirty-four. I am also thrity-three, thirty-two, thrity-one.... I have learned to enjoy what I have instead of worrying about what I do not. I am learning not to take some people quite so personally. It has taken me thirty-four years to begin to feel comfortable in my skin and stop making apologies for who I am.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderfully insightful blog, Kerri. A very Happy Birthday to you. I hope that 34 is the best year of your life :-)