Wearing 4T

Starting today, my son and I have something in common, we’re both a 4T; it’s just that his is a clothing size and mine, an age.

Today has been looming on the horizon for a good long while now. In fact, in many regards, this celebration began when I turned 38, so unexpected and wonderful was that birthday surprise. Scorpios love basking in the sun, so being celebrated and the attention that comes with birthdays suits us well. In fact, ask most Scorpios and they’ll confirm that we tend toward recognizing the entire birthmonth, not just the day.

Scorpio pride aside, I’m downright lucky that I married the man I did—a man, who speaks his love through action—because so far this month has been one prolonged celebration. From the gathering of friends, family traveling to be together, and the general broadcast over social media, I have no hope (nor desire) to hide my age and, quite honestly, I’m rather perplexed by the notion of people who do.

I’m a staunch believer that age and wisdom go hand-in-hand.

A decade ago, I was still single. I had no idea what it was like to entwine my life to someone else’s for the rest of our years. I only knew the casual leap from relationship to relationship like a frog on lily pads across a pond.

I’ve learned a lot from being married. I’ve learned to practice compromise, patience, support, endurance, sometimes frustration, often gratitude. I’ve learned to share a closet, a bed, a bathroom and a car. I’ve grown to accept my shortcomings and celebrate someone else’s strengths. I’ve relinquished a modicum of my fierce independence, stubbornness, and temper in exchange for the grace of living in concert with others, learning to let go, and taking deep breaths.

A decade ago, I had never been a parent; now I have two exquisite beings to look after. Through them I’m learning compassion, empathy, discipline and conflict resolution. I’ve become a moderator, mediator, meditator and mom. I’ve stopped obsessing about my own birthdays and started fantasizing about theirs.

When I turned 28, I thought it was a fun and unique idea to celebrate my birthday with a group of friends at Chuck E. Cheese. Back then, the closest one was way out in the ‘burbs! Today, I live down the street from that very establishment and my feelings about it have altered considerably.

A decade ago, I was wholly focused on following my own dreams, setting my own goals, celebrating my accomplishments. Today, I share dreams with a wonderful man; I hear about magical, nocturnal journeys over bowls of Cocoa Crispies; I conjure up fantastic futures with the ones I love.

Goals no longer include things like hiking the Annapurna Circuit or diving the Maldives (though I hope we will do that all together some day). Instead, goals are closer to home and easier to realize. They involve recognizing the letters of the alphabet, comprehending Chinese commands, knowing notes on a music staff and keyboard. They include caring for others, deepening our spiritual journeys and baking cupcakes for school fundraisers.

These days, my best accomplishments are more often someone else’s, rarely my own.

There’s not a single thing I would go back and change from the past 10 years. I love that we lived in our nation’s capital, moved back to New England, completed graduate degrees, got married, had kids, traveled overseas, bought a house, settled down.

I embrace that my body may never be as fit and supple as it was in my 20s or 30s but it’s beautiful in different ways. It’s still the same body that once wore bikinis, a wedding gown, maternity clothes, nursing bras, a triathlon suit, and now occasionally Spanx. It’s the very body that birthed other bodies that grew into onsies, pull-ups, booster seats, and back packs.

So, today I celebrate the sum of my parts and all the sizes in between, from a men’s 32-long, right down to 4T.

What sorts of things do you celebrate in life? What has made you wiser for the wear? 

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. EG
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 09:06:56

    Shining, beautiful post. Happy Birthday, Kyla!

    Reply

  2. Jennifer Burden @WorldMomsBlog
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 09:21:23

    Happy 40th Birthday, Kyla!! I love your reflection. I wrote a letter to myself when I was 30 to be opened when I turn 40. I’m 36, but I can’t remember what I wrote in it! Except that by 30 that I would learn 2 additional languages. I’m working on one of them and started taking French lessons again. My letter was about what I hoped to achieve in the next 10 years. I’m looking forward to opening it up!

    I think this should be put into a photo for World Moms Blog: “I embrace that my body may never be as fit and supple as it was in my 20s or 30s but it’s beautiful in different ways. It’s still the same body that once wore bikinis, a wedding gown, maternity clothes, nursing bras, a triathlon suit, and now occasionally Spanx. It’s the very body that birthed other bodies that grew into onsies, pull-ups, booster seats, and back packs.”

    Having kids has definitely made me wiser for the wear. The thing is that every time I think I’ve got it all figured out and under control, the playing game has changed. I have learned to be more open to change!

    I hope you have a fantastic day!!

    Jen 🙂

    Reply

    • growingmuses
      Nov 13, 2012 @ 13:44:40

      What a terrific idea! To write a letter to your future, wiser self. I’m going to sit down this evening and do just that…where will life find me at 50? In the here-and-now, I sure am delighted by the wonderful places the path is taking me; World Moms Blog being among my favorite “jobs” of all time.

      I am having a fantastic day. I got my nails painted with glitter polish, I had my feet pampered. I read some Lois Lowry, got a few phone calls and when I went to Boloco to use a gift card, they gave me a free lunch and two cookies just because it’s my birthday. I’m pretty sure it can’t get much better. Thanks for your well wishes and kind support.

      Reply

  3. Caitlin
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 09:45:45

    I love this line. Great and bittersweet and all about growing up, I guess.
    “These days, my best accomplishments are more often someone else’s, rarely my own.”

    Reply

  4. Marion Zorn
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 10:38:39

    So glad Lisa posted this on her FB page. I loved it all. So beautifully written and something all mothers and wives can meditate on and celebrate.

    Reply

  5. slightlywonky
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 14:10:45

    Happy Birthday, Kyla!!!! Wonderful post!!! This post shows how thoughtful and contemplative you are, even though you sometimes joke about your ADD nature. This wisdom that you have clearly obtained/earned could only be had by living 40 years and by taking the time to reflect upon them. May the next 40+ be just as wonderful! love, e.

    Reply

    • growingmuses
      Nov 27, 2012 @ 09:34:06

      Thanks, e. True, my easily distracted nature is not always conducive to stream of conscious writing but I get the thoughts down OK…with lots, and lots of editing. Thanks for your kind words. You’re on deck ;o)

      Reply

  6. Joan C Havens
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 16:17:46

    You are a gifted writer, my dear. Keep pursuing that dream!

    Reply

  7. evafannon
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 00:55:20

    What a wonderful post Kyla! I kept nodding my head and smiling to myself throughout 🙂

    Hope you had a fantastic day!

    Reply

  8. Trackback: Couples Counseling « Growing Muses

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